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BAE Systems and the NCSC invest in social mobility and diversity to find young cyber professionals of the future

CyberFirst Event in Manchester press release image
CyberFirst attracts 100 digitally savvy Year 8 and 9 students at Manchester event
Growing demand for cyber skills and a more socially mobile and diverse workforce led BAE Systems and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to host a CyberFirst event in Manchester this past weekend. Held at Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum, the event showed Year 8 and 9 students and their families how studying technology can improve creativity, problem solving and analytical skills for future careers.

BAE Systems, Manchester Digital and the NCSC ran a full day of activities and practical sessions aimed at helping young people from a wide variety of backgrounds to explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the world of cyber security.

CyberFirst events are designed to address a cyber security skills shortage in the UK. The intention is to encourage more young people from as many cultural and social backgrounds as possible to explore a career in the computer science profession and put in place a foundation for the future. 

“Developing, nurturing and promoting cyber skills is of vital importance to our economy, society and development as a nation – and it’s really important it isn’t confined to just one place, social group, race or gender.” said Victoria Knight, Strategic Business Director at BAE Systems. “The schoolchildren at CyberFirst today showed us how the right combination of enthusiasm, readiness to learn and existing skills are building a thriving future – both for them and Greater Manchester.” 
 
Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth, said: “It’s great to see so many young people interested in learning more about cyber security.

“We want to ensure these bright, inquisitive minds maintain their interest in cyber security in order to secure the UK a significant talent pipeline for the sector.
 
“BAE Systems has done a fantastic job in leading this event, and we hope that it has encouraged some of the young people in attendance to keep up their interest in the area.”
 
Students attended workshops throughout the day, with individual breakout groups focusing on everything from digital forensics, cryptography, language analysis to understanding cybersecurity.

The CyberFirst initiative runs opportunities to establish a career in cybersecurity, from courses to bursaries and apprenticeships. Each activity is designed to seek out people with potential, offering the support, skills, experience and exposure needed to be the future first line of defence in our CyberFirst world.
 
 

 
Notes to editors
 
About BAE Systems Applied Intelligence 
 
At BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, we help nations, governments and businesses around the world defend themselves against cybercrime, reduce their risk in the connected world, comply with regulation, and transform their operations. 
 
In the space sector, we provide space communications and tracking systems designed to support spacecraft and satellites operating both near the Earth and in deep space to the European Space Agency. TTCP receives and converts faint radio signals from spacecraft into data that mission controllers use to monitor and control the spacecraft that may be millions kilometers away.
 
For further information about BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, please visit www.baesystems.com/ai
 
About CyberFirst
 
Led and inspired by the National Cyber Security Centre (a part of GCHQ), CyberFirst is a programme of opportunities and support helping young people explore their passion for computers and technology and introducing them to the fascinating and critical world of cyber security.

Girls across the UK can now enter the National Cyber Security Centre’s flagship competition for schools. The CyberFirst Girls’ Competition is the NCSC’s free to enter contest in which girls are invited to form teams and take part in a series of online cyber security focused puzzles and challenges.
 
For further information, please contact:
Jenny Pask (nee Szweda)
Head of External Communications, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence
E: jenny.pask@baesystems.com
T: +44 (0) 7867 537 549
 
 
Jordan W, National Cyber Security Centre
T: +44 (0) 7468 830 583
E: jordan.w@ncsc.gov.uk
 
Issued by:
BAE Systems plc
Media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739
www.baesystems.com
@BAESystemsplc