13 February 2017

code club UKFast

Teaching the next generation of tech talent here at UKFast.

I’m delighted to read that schoolchildren in England are to be offered cybersecurity lessons in a bid to bridge the growing skills gap.

Following last week’s warning from a Commons committee that a skills shortage was undermining confidence our country’s cyber defences, the pilot education scheme is led by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The department is providing £20 million for the five-year pilot, which will reach around 5,700 pupils aged 14 and over.

It is certainly a step in the right direction. We need more people with the right skills to protect national security as other nations progress at a rate of knots and to keep our data safe at all times. We’ve already seen the effect that ineffective cybersecurity can have – just look at the US election and the scandal following Hillary Clinton when a hack revealed her email history, outside of usual protocol for sensitive information. It could be said that that hack and scandal cost Clinton the Oval Office.

But, whilst this is a much-needed step in the right direction, I can’t help but wonder if we are only now starting to look at fixing the roof as the rains have already started to pour in. Should we be providing an opportunity to learn these skills at a much larger scale? At UKFast we work with more than 57,000 students across the UK – from primary school age right through to MsC level – to deliver online safety, technical education and access to cutting edge technology.

I hope that the £20 million will be invested efficiently to ensure that as many children as possible are given the opportunities to learn these valuable skills. We know first-hand just how difficult it is to find the right skills when recruiting cybersecurity experts, so I can confirm demand is high!

What do you think? Should all schools be offering lessons on cybersecurity skills?

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