UK Government National Cyber Security Programme Recruitment Drive for Next Generation Cyber Security Experts

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The fight to protect the UK from the growing threat of cyber attacks has been boosted by a successful student scheme that launched its expanded 2017 programme yesterday (2 February).

CyberFirst, a pivotal part of the government’s National Cyber Security Programme, serves to find, finesse and fast-track tomorrow’s online security experts about to start university or in their first year.

Up to 250 recruits will now be able to receive £4,000 student bursaries, paid work placements and employment on graduation after more than 20 companies pledged their support to the government initiative.

Officially launched in May 2016, CyberFirst is a pivotal part of the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme, which includes the formation of the brand new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a single, central body that manages incidents, threat analysis and sectoral advice.

To encourage interest in cyber security, the NCSC is also running a competition where teams of 13-15 year old girls will pit their wits against one another to crack a series of online puzzles. The contest was announced in January and has already received over pre-registrations from 600 schools on behalf of almost 2,000 girls.

Under the Cyber First brand, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport plan to launch a National Schools Programme for 2017 onwards. This will see the development of a national extracurricular school programme to identify the most promising students with intensive training and mentoring.

Notes to editors

Companies supporting CyberFirst include:

  • Thales
  • Vodafone
  • Raytheon
  • Nexor
  • CGI
  • BAE Systems
  • APM Group
  • Information Risk Management
  • Cyber 1st
  • Reliance ACSN Ltd
  • L-3 TRL technology
  • Qinetiq
  • Leidos
  • BT
  • Airbus
  • Becrypt
  • Northrop Grumann
  • NCC Group
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Roke
  • City of London Police
  • Candidates for GCHQ CyberFirst bursaries can register their interest from 6th Feb on the GCHQ careers website
  • Pre registration for the CyberFirst Girls competition is available until 12th February and can be made via
  • Industry support and investment has steadily grown. Over 20 companies have committed to offering their own CyberFirst Bursary scheme and work placements. We expect this number to grow.
  • A broad range of CyberFirst courses will be run throughout 2017. They include:
    1. CyberFirst Adventurers; A free one day course aimed at 13/14 year-olds PLUS their parents, teachers and guardians.
    2. CyberFirst Defenders; A free four-day residential and non-residential course aimed at 14/15 year-olds.
    3. CyberFirst Futures; A free five day residential and non residential course aimed at 15/16 year-olds.
    4. CyberFirst Advanced; A free five day residential and non-residential course aimed at 16/17 year-olds.

Further details of the courses will be available from in the spring.

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