The UK government is to provide cyber security training to teenagers in schools as part of its plans to address the cyber security skills shortage.
The new Cyber Schools Programme aims to teach and encourage school children aged between 14 and 18 to develop key skills needed to work in the growing cyber security sector.
Recent figures from Tech Partnership found that there are currently already 58,000 cyber security specialists in the growing sector worth £22bn a year. However, recent reports have highlighted a worrying skills shortage across the sector.
The program could also go some way to helping to defend UK businesses in the future against online threat, which is said to have been threatened by almost 200 high-level cyber-attacks in the past three months.
It is also targeted towards defending businesses in the UK against online threats, which has significantly been threatened by almost 200 high-level cyber-attacks in the past three months.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said many of the attacks “threatened national security.”
Martin also told the newspaper that attempts on government departments were designed to “extract information on UK government policy on anything from energy to diplomacy to information on a public sector.”
The new programme, which is led by the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), has set aside up to £20m in order to deliver the extracurricular school programme that aims to have at least 5,700 teenagers trained by 2021.
As part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme, students involved are expected to commit to four hours a week for training that will classroom-based and online teaching.
Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture said: “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.
“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 programme is to begin in September 2017 and will be monitored and reviewed after the first year.