The world is currently facing a shortage of individuals who are educated in various aspects of cybersecurity. With massive volumes of sensitive data being stored and transferred online these days, this shortage can present a real problem when it comes to security. In order to combat this shortfall, thousands of UK based teenagers are set to participate in cybersecurity clubs across the country.
The Cyber Schools Programme is designed for teenagers between 14 and 18 years of age. Preference will be given to 14 year olds who can commit four hours weekly while being able to complete the full four year programme. The programme will target those individuals who demonstrate a passion and talent for cybersecurity, while providing them with skills for the purpose of protecting businesses against online threats in today's highly digital landscape. In addition, attendees will have the opportunity to learn from a number of experts in the cybersecurity field.
The programme, which will benefit from a £20 million funding bonus, will be run by a subsection of the UK government called the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The goal is to train a minimum of 5,700 teenagers by 2021. Matt Hancock, the Minister of State responsible for digital and culture states, "This forward-thinking programme will see thousands of the best and brightest young minds given the opportunity to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their secondary school studies". Other countries should take note of the programme, and its potential success, as the cybersecurity skills gap continues to expand worldwide.
Figures taken from CyberSeek show that there are at least 128,000 cybersecurity positions available everyday, worldwide, though only 88,000 positions are filled, leaving a shortfall of about 40,000. When speaking of the programme further, Hancock commented, "we are determined to prepare Britain for the challenges it faces now and in the future and these extracurricular clubs will help identify and inspire future talent". The Cyber Schools Programme will begin in September 2017. To learn more, please see the Gov.UK press release.