CyberFirst scheme launched to develop the UK's next generation of cyber security experts
News article - 24 Mar 2015
GCHQ have today launched a new pilot sponsorship scheme aimed at identifying individuals with exceptional aptitude to become the next generation of cyber security experts for the UK.
Announced by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Cyber Security, and called ‘CyberFirst’, this new scheme will draw on talent from the broadest range of backgrounds to meet the UK’s future national security needs in government or companies involved in national security. It will find those already showing potential for a top career in cyber security through schools competitions such as the Cyber Security Challenge Schools Programme and national maths competitions.
CyberFirst will offer both financial assistance for those studying relevant Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses at undergraduate level and include work experience within government or private sector firms involved in national security resulting in a job in the field upon graduation.
GCHQ will run a CyberFirst 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.
CyberFirst builds on GCHQ’s recently announced Cyber Summer Schools programme and other existing national initiatives, such as the Cyber Security Challenge and the National Maths Challenge, that have a proven track record in identifying exceptional talent.
Robert Hannigan, Director GCHQ said: "The world leading young people we support through CyberFirst 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."
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