Growing demand for cyberskills and a more socially mobile and diverse workforce meant BAE Systems and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) hosted a CyberFirst event in Manchester to showcase cybersecurity careers to young people. Held at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, the event showed Year 8 and 9 students and their families how studying technology can improve creativity, problem solving and analytical skills for future careers.
BAE Systems, Manchester Digital and the NCSC ran a full day of activities and practical sessions aimed at helping young people from a wide variety of backgrounds to explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the world of cybersecurity.
CyberFirst events are designed to address a cybersecurity skills shortage in the UK. The intention is to encourage more young people from as many cultural and social backgrounds as possible to explore a career in the computer science profession and put in place a foundation for the future.
“Developing, nurturing and promoting cyberskills is of vital importance to our economy, society and development as a nation – and it’s really important it isn’t confined to just one place, social group, race or gender,” said Victoria Knight, Strategic Business Director at BAE Systems. “The schoolchildren at CyberFirst showed us how the right combination of enthusiasm, readiness to learn and existing skills are building a thriving future – both for them and Greater Manchester.”
Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth, said: “It’s great to see so many young people interested in learning more about cybersecurity.
“We want to ensure these bright, inquisitive minds maintain their interest in cybersecurity in order to secure the UK a significant talent pipeline for the sector.
“BAE Systems has done a fantastic job in leading this event and we hope that it has encouraged some of the young people in attendance to keep up their interest in the area.”
Students attended workshops throughout the day, with individual breakout groups focusing on everything from digital forensics, cryptography, language analysis to understanding cybersecurity.
The CyberFirst initiative runs opportunities to establish a career in cybersecurity, from courses to bursaries and apprenticeships. Each activity is designed to seek out people with potential, offering the support, skills, experience and exposure needed to be the future first line of defence in our CyberFirst world.