New generation of ‘cyber cadets’ revealed

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has announced a new scheme to help develop the next generation of cyber security experts.

Having announced a National Cadet Week to increase the number of cadets in school units to 60,000 by 2024, Williamson said that the Cadets CyberFirst programme would help equip over 2,000 cadets a year with the skills and expertise to become future leaders in this emerging industry.

Over £1 million will be invested in the programme each year, giving cadets the opportunity to learn how to protect systems connected to the internet from cyber attacks.

Williamson said: “We live in a modern world where our phones are rarely out of our hands and we rely on computers to make daily tasks easier. Cyber threats to the UK are constantly evolving and this exciting initiative to train and develop ‘cyber cadets’ – the first of its kind in a NATO state - reaffirms our leading role in tackling security threats head on. It is important to recognise the vital role cadets play in our communities, and I am determined to grow the number of young people signing up and make sure their successes are properly recognised each year.”

The new cadet training programme will build on GCHQ’s CyberFirst initiative, which aims to teach young people the fundamentals of cyber security. It will also offer a ‘train the trainer’ course, which will teach more than 50 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers so they can deliver this exciting cadet training programme in the future.

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