UK school kids in line for advanced cyber security training

The UK government has announced that it is to teach children the fundamentals of cyber security in schools as it aims to be among those countries that can successfully handle future threats.

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Children between the ages of 11 and 14 will be taught skills and the recommendation came as part of the Cyber Security Skills: Business Perspectives and Government’s Next Steps report.

“Today countries that can manage cyber security risks have a clear competitive advantage, said Universities and Science minister David Willetts. “By ensuring cyber security is integral to education at all ages, we will help equip the UK with the professional and technical skills we need for long-term economic growth.”

Lessons designed for children will be rolled out alongside a new range of higher-level and advanced apprenticeships, and teachers will be trained to enable them to teach pupils the correct curriculum.

In addition, the government plans to provide universities with support to help develop improved cyber security teaching and an internship scheme will be put in place to give students the work experience that employers need.

“We warmly welcome this report and the actions it proposes. It is clear from this and our own research that the national shortage of cyber skills is a key issue for businesses and government in the fight against the growing threat from cyber crime,” stated Sir David Pepper, who represents professional institutions in the Cyber Security Skills Alliance. “We will work closely with the government and industry in support of this programme, in particular to help establish career paths in cyber security and improve recruitment and training.”

More specifically the report calls for new e-skills UK employer-led cyber security higher and advanced level apprenticeships as well as new e-skills UK projects to develop key stage 3 learning materials and training for teachers.

Related: Report: UK school budget cuts leave IT class standards lagging

e-skills UK will roll out its Secure Futures school campaign in London, Sussex, and Greater Manchester with the support of employers and it comes after a successful pilot scheme in Worcestershire.