Scottish skills programme looks for a new generation of cyber crime fighters
Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is launching an initiative to encourage school pupils to choose fighting cyber crime as their ideal career choice. Aimed at young people from S1 to S3, the Cyber Skills Programme aims to create a new generation of “white hat” hackers by raising skill levels and awareness of the growing number of jobs in this fast paced, super secret industry
Kicking off at today’s STEM Festival at Glasgow Science Centre, the programme will see a series of fun and engaging events planned online and around the country to create the online crime fighting “superheroes” of the future.
As well as meeting experts in the field, school children will also learn how to hack and protect passwords and how to rob a bank – in this case an electronic piggy bank – in a series of special live and recorded online tutorials.
Toolkits designed to help all teachers deliver the lessons on topics around cyber security will be made available. And a series of ‘meet the experts’ events will give pupils the chance to ‘meet’ people working in cyber security and ask questions through video conferencing sessions hosted on GLOW. This will include employees, employers, students and lecturers.
A key focus for the programme is to engage with employers as SDS aims to increase industry’s awareness of these additional career routes that our future cyber security gatekeepers can take. Police Scotland, Abertay University, Glasgow Clyde College and FanDuel are amongst the organisations already committed to supporting the scheme.
The four-year programme – funded by the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy Programme and supported by the Scottish Government – was designed in partnership with industry to raise awareness of the country’s buzzing cyber sector and its fantastic career opportunities, which protect services and businesses from online threats.
Gordon McGuiness, director of industry & enterprise networks at Skills Development Scotland, said: “The cyber industry is of critical importance to our online society and will play an increasing role in the years to come. There will be a wide variety of exciting jobs available to today’s youngsters and we need to ensure they have the skills to make the most of these opportunities.
“There are a number of ways into this dynamic and fast moving sector. A lot of work has taken place to ensure there will be a variety of routes into careers in the cyber industry.
“A lot of work has taken place to ensure there are a variety of routes into careers in digital and tech, including new Foundation Apprenticeships which provide real-world industry experience for kids while they are still at school.”
John Swinney, Deputy First Minister, added: “We are very pleased to support Skills Development Scotland increase cyber awareness and skills amongst young people. We hope the programme will trigger interest in the career opportunities the digital world presents.”
The programme also promotes the variety of apprenticeships set up by SDS which open doors into the sector. A newly developed Graduate Level Apprenticeship in Cyber Security has recently been introduced. A Modern Apprenticeship in Information Security and Foundation Apprenticeship in Hardware and System Support are other possible entry points for newcomers.
The UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy Programme has allocated £6.5m over four years – until 2021 – for projects based in Scotland to support the strategic outcomes and success measures outlined in the National Cyber Security Strategy and the priority actions listed in the Cyber Resilience Strategy for Scotland.
On the cyber horizon: predictions for 2022
As 2021 draws to a close, we see a world still challenged by Covid-19, necessitating new business models, new channels and a shift (perhaps for the long term) to remote…
Jude McCorry: “Focus on cyber strategy alone is not enough”
The number of cyber attacks has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic, with both international and domestic cyber criminals taking advantage of our increased reliance on…
Not a drop wasted: digital cask filling can save the whisky industry millions
Scotland’s food and drink sector is central to the country’s economy. Bringing in around £14 billion every year, it employs more than 115,000 people and accounts for one in five manufacturing…
The value of engineering in the curriculum
If you were to look back at the greatest discoveries in science and technology over the past 30 years, you would soon notice that engineering is a key catalyst for…
Glasgow Council leads the way in digital learning
In 2017, we at Glasgow City Council took the opportunity to overhaul our digital approach to education and redefine learning, keeping in mind the core aim of reducing the impact…
Why data is the new oil
In 2006, British mathematician Clive Humby coined the phrase, “Data is the new oil”. This analogy has been proven correct as data now powers entire industries and holds tremendous value…
Global Entrepreneurship Week offers chance to reset aspirations amid new innovation landscape
With the advent of Global Entrepreneurship Week, it is an opportunity for us to celebrate the innovators, the grassroots risk takers who drive the economy, and those who invest in…
Aberdeenshire leads the way in work-based learning
There has long been debate about the distinction to be drawn between vocational and academic learning. However, in Aberdeenshire Council the focus is on what is best for our learners;…