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21ST FEB 2022

Introducing the IT and Cyber Security Apprenticeship Delivery Team at Gloucestershire College.

Employer Training and Apprenticeships
Introducing the IT and Cyber Security Apprenticeship Delivery Team at Gloucestershire College.
Introducing the IT and Cyber Security Apprenticeship Delivery Team at Gloucestershire College.

Training a skilled workforce for Gloucestershire’s booming IT and cyber security industry.

Training a skilled workforce for Gloucestershire’s booming IT and cyber security industry.

As Gloucestershire is set to become the cyber capital of the UK, with over £1 billion being invested in the highly anticipated cyber park based in Cheltenham and 12,000 new jobs being created, Gloucestershire College (GC) is committed to training and upskilling the current and future workforce with future-ready skills to meet the growing talent demand in the tech industry.

GC’s offering to learners and employers combines the breadth of IT & cyber security programmes and apprenticeships, state-of-the-art training facilities like the Advanced Digital Academy (ADA), and a team of teaching experts ready to help  employees and apprentices realise their full potential.  

GC’s team of IT and cyber security Assessor Trainers play a crucial role in apprentices’ success. Not only do they equip learners with specialised tech knowledge, but they mentor and inspire them about working in the industry. The team is a diverse blend of unique personalities with over 50 years of combined industry experience and a pure passion for the subjects they teach.

Emma Littlefair is the lead Assessor Trainer for the software development and software testing apprenticeships at GC. She has over 19 years of teaching experience and is certified in ISTQB, ITIL, and Software fundamentals. Emma teaches multiple programming languages including Python, C#, Java, JavaScript, PHP, SQL, HTML & CSS and works with various IDE’s, frameworks, and cloud computing platforms. 

In addition, Emma is the module lead and lecturer on the programming units for the Cyber Security Degree Apprenticeship delivered in partnership with the University West of England and was part of the team to help GC to become the first college in England to have achieved National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) certification. 

Mark Higgins also supports the delivery of Cyber Security Degree Apprenticeship as a Senior Assessor Trainer and brings years of industry experience having worked in software development businesses, including IBM, in roles such as a SCADA Engineer, System Administrator, IT Manager, DevOps, and others.

When asked about the best part of his job, Mark said:

I love working with the students and passing on what I have learnt. I have been impressed with the Cyber Security Degree Apprenticeship as it offers the students practical experience in the workplace as well as the academic challenge of studying for a degree.”  

Martin Webley, CISSP, CEH, CHFI joined GC’s academic staff from the industry where he spent the last 20 years supporting organisations with their cyber security goals at operational, tactical, and strategic levels.   

Passionate about apprenticeships, Martin’s focus is on supporting GC’s apprentices by enhancing their understanding of the industry and application of security in the real world.  

When asked about his journey towards becoming a lecturer, Martin responded 

“I’ve always had a passion for coaching, mentoring, and supporting the next generation of cyber security professionals. In addition, I am a huge advocate of apprenticeships and I have always sought to establish apprenticeship career tracks in every organisation I worked with.” 

GC’s lead Trainer Assessor for digital apprenticeships in infrastructure and networking is Andrew Cracknell, who is skilled in CompTIA, CompTIA Network+, Computer Hardware, and Game Design. Together with Emma Littlefair, Andrew was part of the team that has secured NCSC accreditation for GC’s Cyber Degree Apprenticeship.

Anu Duhan, an ISTQB certified tester, comes from a family of teachers, so becoming a lecturer with GC after years of working in IT seemed like a natural career progression.

One of the most common reasons to become a lecturer is to make a difference in the lives of as many students as you can. You get to see young people’s love of their subject increase, their academic performance improve, and you can guide them in their choice of future career. Students can make you change the way you think about your academic work and can be a source of inspiration.”- Anu explained. 

At GC, Anu delivers the Comp TIA A+ certification course, which is one of the very first certifications that prospective IT professionals can receive. It validates general programming and networking expertise and skills while providing the fundamental skills further down the line for career development. 

Andy Bates, Vice Principal and CFO at Gloucestershire College added, 

“We are delighted to have assembled such an outstanding academic team. As we continue to support Cheltenham’s transformation into an IT and cyber hub, now is a perfect time to be equipping people with both the essential and advanced skills that this booming industry has been longing for.

“With our dedicated team of Assessor Trainers, we are proud to be able to bring such a strong offering in IT and cyber apprenticeships to Gloucestershire.  

“Our IT and cyber programmes bring together industry experts with our bespoke high-tech training facility ADA – all the key ingredients for unleashing local tech talent and pushing the region’s cyber and tech expertise to the next level.”  

If you have any questions about GC’s IT & cyber apprenticeships, please email employer.training@gloscol.ac.uk 

The complete IT & cyber apprenticeships overview can be found here: https://www.gloscol.ac.uk/campaigns/tech-talent/