MoD Launches Cyber Cadet Training Program

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The Ministry of Defence has launched a new program designed to equip more young people with cyber-skills.

The Cadets CyberFirst program will train up 2000 Armed Forces cadets each year with cybersecurity know-how.

Over £1m will be invested in the initiative each year, with cadets able to choose from introductory courses on how to protect small networks as well as more advanced curricula. The money will also be used to train more than 50 Cadet Force adult volunteers to deliver the program going forward.

“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,” said defense secretary, Gavin Williamson.

“It is important to recognize 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 recognized each year.”

The Cadet Expansion Programme aims to increase the number of cadets in schools from 43,000 to 60,000.

The initiative was welcomed by industry experts.

“It is evident that there is currently a shortage of talent in the cybersecurity industry, which we as a nation are struggling to circumvent. All organizations — private and public — are pivotal in closing the cybersecurity skills gap, ensuring our children are fully equipped for facing future inevitabilities,” said Rob Norris, VP head of enterprise & cybersecurity at Fujitsu EMEIA.

“And with our latest report revealing that a fifth of the UK public believe cybercrime and hacking are the biggest challenges facing the UK today, this new scheme provides an invaluable resource as the country looks to identify and nurture the cyber experts of the future.”

McAfee chief scientist, Raj Samani, added that the need to close skills gaps is especially urgent given the rise in nation state attacks.

“Initiatives like this will help to encourage more people into the cybersecurity sector — making students aware of the career prospects in this space and creating a new generation of defense against cyber-criminals,” he argued.

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