GCHQ has launched a fresh pilot sponsorship scheme aimed at identifying individuals with exceptional aptitude to become the UK’s next generation of cyber security experts.
The scheme, named “Cyber First” will draw on talent from a broad range of backgrounds to meet the UK’s future national security needs, both in Government or for companies involved in national security.
Announced by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Cyber Security, it will identify those people already showing potential for a career in cyber security through schools competitions such as the Cyber Security Challenge Schools Programme and national maths competitions.
GCHQ will run a Cyber First pilot scheme which will provide funding of £4,000 for each of up to 20 student places. A full scheme across participating departments, agencies and industry will be implemented in 2016 building on the pilot and lessons learned.
‘Cyber First’ will also offer both financial assistance for those studying relevant science, technology, engineering and mathematics courses at undergraduate level, and include work experience within Government or private sector firms involved in national security, with a job awaiting upon graduation.
Robert Hannigan, director of GCHQ said: “The world leading young people we support through ‘Cyber First’ will help protect the UK from the growing tide of cyber-attacks and cybercrime. They will also play a part in GCHQ’s key role of keeping the UK at the forefront of the multi-billion pound global cyber security industry.”