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11TH SEP 2020

Former apprentice, now Apprenticeship Minister launches new cyber degree apprenticeship at Gloucestershire College

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Former apprentice, now Apprenticeship Minister to launch new cyber degree apprenticeship at Gloucestershire College
Former apprentice, now Apprenticeship Minister to launch new cyber degree apprenticeship at Gloucestershire College

Pictured – Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills with Gloucestershire College Cyber Degree Apprentices Ben Heathfield and Taylor Watson.

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills visited Gloucestershire College (GC) and the Glos Lift Off (Gloucestershire Jobs, Skills and Apprenticeship Lift Off) at Kingsholm today, Friday 11 Sept. She is a former apprentice and the first Minister to visit Gloucester since the pandemic started in March.

Gillian Keegan said "This is my first visit to a College since lockdown so I'm absolutely delighted to be here meeting students and apprentices on campus, back learning in classrooms and workshops, where they belong". 

"It's my pleasure to officially launch Gloucestershire College's Cyber degree apprenticeship and celebrate its first week of teaching". 

"Meeting GC cyber degree apprentices like Taylor and Ben is so important to show the nation how essential it is for employers to continue to offer apprentice training programmes. Despite the economic implications of COVID, it is crucial we support these vital training opportunities to both  future proof and secure our economy and continue to develop these highly talented individuals".

The new cyber degree apprenticeship is accredited by UWE Bristol and this strategic partnership is dedicated to supporting the region’s cyber ambitions. The course delivers in-depth technical training across four years in core areas including Malware, Threats and Defensive Programming, Risk Assessment and Computer Architecture. Apprentices learn ethical hacking and develop their skills at preventing cyber-attacks.

GC’s fantastic new cyber facilities have been funded from over £3m investment through the Government’s West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT) programme – its core aim is to provide and broaden the opportunity for first-class, university-level education in the cyber and engineering sectors to a wider and more diverse student population across our region. The WEIoT funding has created state-of-the-art cyber rooms at GC’s Gloucester Campus, and a dedicated cyber training facility at GC’s Cheltenham Campus, featuring cyber design and attack rooms, bespoke cyber and engineering labs and dedicated study pods.

Gloucestershire College Principal, Matthew Burgess, added “We welcomed the Apprenticeship Minister during a transformational time for Gloucestershire, as it cements itself as the cyber capital for the nation. Our partnership with UWE Bristol to deliver cyber degree apprenticeships will ensure that we can support organisations by providing a strong talent pipeline of highly skilled individuals as we train the next cyber generation; boosting the local economy and raising Gloucestershire’s cyber profile.”

The Minister went on to visit the Gloucestershire Jobs, Skills and Apprenticeships Lift Off (Glos Liftoff), hosted by Richard Graham MP for Gloucester, to discuss government policy with employers and visit the different organisations offering apprenticeships.