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Worcestershire council welcome for Cyber Academy
6:00am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
WORCESTERSHIRE County Council has welcomed the news that as part of its National Skills Academy for IT, e-skills UK has launched a Cyber Academy.
The county council's deputy leader, Conservative Simon Geraghty, said the collaboration to form a Cyber Academy tied in with the council's Open for Business priority and the local authority's commitment to a Cyber Centre in Malvern's Cyber Valley.
The employer-led programme of work is intended to help the nation develop the cyber security skills it needs to manage future threats and stay at the forefront of the rapidly-evolving and expanding field.
It is hoped that, through the Cyber Academy, employers, working in collaboration with education and Government, will inspire young people to consider careers in cyber security, provide new entry routes for them into the sector and improve access to relevant, high-quality training.
Those involved range from the growing small companies in the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster - a group of more than 40 small cyber security companies centred around Malvern - to large firms such as Atos, General Dynamics, IBM, John Lewis Partnership and National Grid, as well as organisations such as CREST and Cyber Security Challenge.
The Cyber Academy’s work will include embedding cyber security-related content in the school and university curriculum, organising effective interaction between employers and school students and creating the first nationally available degree-level apprenticeships in cyber security.
The council's cabinet recommended at its last meeting in July that a Cyber Security Partnership would establish a Cyber Centre, a centre of excellence in Malvern. The initiative included Worcestershire's involvement in the national Cyber Security skills pilot with e-skills and major employers including Qinetiq, IBM, HP and BT and would include the development of dedicated apprenticeships in cyber security.
Mr Geraghty, the county council's cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "This announcement is excellent news for Worcestershire - not only for existing, locally-based SMEs who specialise in this niche industry, where the county is leading the way nationally, but also for young people in the county, who decide to choose cyber security as a career path. Young people are the lifeblood of Worcestershire's future business economy.
"Businesses are facing more risks to their data and reputation due to cyber-attacks, so the county's businesses have an important role to play.
"The news underlines the importance of our investment in a Cyber Centre of Excellence with partners in Malvern and our ongoing commitment to developing relevant apprenticeships for an ever-changing business environment."
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