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Skills Development Scotland (SDS) has launched a new Cyber Skills Programme, aimed at young people from S1 to S3, to create a new generation of “white hat” hackers.

It aims to raise skill levels and awareness about the growing number of jobs available in the fast paced tech sector.

Kicking off at the STEM Festival in Glasgow, the initiative 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.

 

 

"We hope the programme will trigger interest in the career opportunities the digital world presents.”

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister

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 along with a series of Meet the Experts events which will give pupils the chance to question people already working in cyber security.

A key focus for the programme is to engage with employers to increase industry’s awareness of these additional career routes that our future cyber security gatekeepers can take. So far Police Scotland, Abertay University, Glasgow Clyde College and FanDuel are among the organisations already committed to supporting the scheme.

 

 

“The cyber industry is of critical importance to our online society and will play an increasing role in the years to come."

Gordon McGuinness, SDS

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.

“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, said: “We are very pleased to support Skills Development Scotland increase cyber awareness and skills among 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 £6.5 million 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.

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