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Developing Cheltenham's future cyber generation

10 July 2019

Over 100 visitors attended Gloucestershire College’s business event in partnership with The University of the West of England (UWE) yesterday to hear about the future of cyber security in Cheltenham, strengthened by the new cyber degree partnership between GC and UWE.

 Matthew Burgess, Principal of GC and Professor Steve West, VC at UWE opened the talks with an overview of the new cyber degrees that will be included in the offer at Cheltenham in the new dedicated cyber hub from September 2020. They will sit alongside an array of IT and cyber apprenticeships, the new T levels, HNCs and HNDs and BTECs – all aimed at attracting more students into cyber and IT related education. Attendees also heard from three guest speakers from The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – part of GCHQ; BAE Systems and Cheltenham Borough Council, with insights into the future of cyber training, opportunities in Cheltenham and developments for the cyber business park.

Chris Ensor, Deputy Director for Cyber Skills and Growth at NCSC congratulated the new partnership between GC and UWE for using their expertise to provide opportunities for local people to develop the cyber skills needed in the county and commended it as a model of best practice for future developments elsewhere in the country. Chris stressed that building a strong cyber security pipeline is crucial to allow companies to move forward safely, and also shared an insight into the need for more diversity in the industry, particularly the need to attract more females into cyber related education opportunities.

BAE Systems discussed how the company develops its own cyber security talent with apprenticeships and graduate schemes, adopting an approach which allows them to grow their own talent with individuals who are passionate about technology and cyber security.

Finally, Tim Atkins from Cheltenham Borough Council shared the latest news about the cyber business park which is set to develop in Cheltenham adjacent to GC’s Cheltenham Campus and GCHQ. He demonstrated how the cyber business park will provide a great support for Cheltenham and the cyber security industry, putting Cheltenham on the map internationally for cyber, as well as offering the potential for housing and recreational opportunities.

Matthew Burgess, Principal of GC, commented: “It is great to welcome so many local businesses to our campus to hear about the plans for building a University Centre in Cheltenham incorporating a cyber base with the businesses that will benefit from it. All of the talks we heard this morning provided an insightful look into the world of cyber security, from the need to encourage more diversity in the industry to plans for the new cyber business park; it is a very exciting time for Cheltenham as it cements itself as the cyber capital of the nation. The cyber business park is a much anticipated development for the county, and will undoubtedly attract more businesses to the area.

From September 2020 employers and businesses will be able to access UWE degrees in Cyber and  related technologies from our Cheltenham campus.  These programmes are recognised as cutting edge in their field and this is the start of widening the offer of University level programmes e.

Click here for more information on cyber security apprenticeships available at GC.


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