GCHQ Scarborough welcomes visitors to cyber summer school

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Thursday 20 August 2015

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Coventry University Scarborough CampusRepresentatives of local educational establishments - including Coventry University Scarborough Campus - visited GCHQ Scarborough on Wednesday to see first-hand how the intelligence agency is training the workforce of the future.

Northern Exposure is a summer school run by GCHQ Scarborough to teach crucial cyber skills such as information assurance, the structure of the Internet and programming languages.

The 32 students have benefited from the expertise of GCHQ staff and trainers during their six-week course, which comes to an end on Friday.

GCHQ is committed to improving science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills and is working closely with local communities to facilitate this. Additionally, it is seeking to introduce those with a Humanities background into the world of cyber. As well as coaching young people from a diverse range of backgrounds at the cyber summer school, it holds a seat on the Scarborough University Technical College (UTC) Steering Group, helping to promote an interest in computing, networking and cyber security with local 14-18 year-olds.

During their tour, the visitors, who included representatives from Coventry University, Scarborough University Technical College (UTC), Teesside University, University of York, Gill Tate Associates careers consultancy, Packard & Associates careers consultancy and North Yorkshire County Council, met the Head of Station and the staff and trainers involved in running the summer school. They were shown round the facility and had the chance to talk to the students.

GCHQ's Head of Station said:

GCHQ's approach to recruitment and training is becoming more flexible. The Northern Exposure Cyber Summer School was open to young people from both STEM and non-STEM backgrounds and they have all thrived on the course, showing an aptitude for working in the field of cyber.

I was proud to be able to show our visitors this excellent facility and to demonstrate to them the kind of skills GCHQ needs to be provided by educational establishments in order to continue to keep the UK safe for generations to come.

Professor Craig Gaskell, provost of Coventry University Scarborough Campus, said:

The Cyber Summer School at GCHQ Scarborough is a great example of the value of developing relationships between employers and employees of the future.

The new Coventry University Scarborough Campus is being built to help address the skills and employment needs of the local community and to that end we will continue to work closely with local businesses to bring relevant skills to the area like GCHQ.

Tim Englefield, principal of Scarborough UTC, said:

Scarborough UTC is about engaging and empowering 14 -18 year-old learners who have a keen interest in engineering or its related subjects such as ICT, science and design. As well as offering a generic curriculum, the UTC will also offer three different engineering qualifications for each age group. Each qualification will reflect the different needs of local industries.

It's really important to have organisations such as GCHQ supporting the UTC as this will enable us to give our learners a real insight as well as hands-on experience with a modern, forward-thinking, local employer.

For more information about this news release, please contact the GCHQ Press Office:

pressoffice@gchq.gsi.gov.uk / 01242 221491 ext 33847