The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has today launched its landmark cyber security training programme aimed at young people in school years 10-13 – ‘Cyber Discovery.’ The initiative aims to help plug the UK’s cyber security skills gap by tapping into young and undiscovered talent with the ambition of stimulating and nurturing interest in cyber security as a future career path. School security is also covered by the programme.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Karen Bradley, said: “This Government is committed to improving the skills of the next generation and encouraging the best young minds into cyber security.Cyber Discovery will help inspire the digital talent of tomorrow and give thousands of young people the opportunity to develop cutting-edge cyber security skills and fast-track future careers. This important programme is part of our £1.9 billion investment to protect from online threats and make Britain the safest place to be online.”

James Lyne, Global Head of Research and Development at delivery partner SANS Institute, said of the programme:  “It’s been a privilege to be involved in a programme that aligns exactly with what SANS stands for: training to fill the cyber security skills gap. Using gamification to teach is a great and innovative way of ensuring interest is captured early on in this technology-led generation, which is something I, personally, am very excited about being a part of.”

Delivered by a consortium of SANS Institute, BT, Cyber Security Challenge UK and FutureLearn, Cyber Discovery is a free programme and is open to young people in years 10-13 who are successful during the initial assessment stage. Individuals who register for the new extracurricular cyber security programme will have until early January to undertake the online assessment, which aims to find the best and brightest young talent. Cyber Discovery consists of four stages.

Initially students are invited to register and work through a selection tool, CyberStart Assess. Successful students will go onto three challenging and exciting stages which will later include Face to Face camps with industry experts, and three live regional Capture the Flag events where parents and leaders can see the progress made by students.

Cyber Discovery is being piloted in year one in England but is expected to expand to other parts of the UK in years 2, 3 and 4.

The £20 million Cyber Discovery programme is part of the Government’s £1.9 billion investment to significantly transform the UK’s cyber security.