Lancashire Students Discover What it Takes to Work in Cyber
College and Sixth Form students from across Lancashire came together on Tuesday 28 November at an event jointly hosted by the National Cyber Force (NCF) and Blackburn College, to experience and learn more about the careers and opportunities available on their doorstep in digital and cyber.
NCF and Blackburn College teamed up with IN4 Group, an award-winning digital skills, innovation, and business support provider, and the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) North West delivery partner for CyberFirst Schools and Colleges. They welcomed students from colleges across the county, including Cardinal Newman, Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School, Moor Park, and Runshaw College, to its town centre campus.
The NCF, a partnership between defence and intelligence, is set to open its new home in Samlesbury in 2025 and will have a significant role to play in the growth of Lancashire’s digital, technology and defence sectors. Those attending the event heard from an NCF representative about its role in keeping the country safe through responsible cyber operations and protecting and promoting the UK’s interests at home and abroad, and what the roles of the future might look like.
Throughout the day, students took part in a host of activities aimed at giving them a flavour of digital and cyber courses and careers, including testing Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) tools and micro: bit coding.
The group also had the chance to tour and use the fantastic facilities at the College, including the new, state-of-the-art cyber suite at University Centre Blackburn College, to learn about progression opportunities to relevant Higher Education courses, such as the College’s BSc (Hons) Cyber and Networking (validated by Lancaster University).
Dr Fazal Dad, Principal and Chief Executive of Blackburn College, said: “Collaborative events, such as this one, showcase the fantastic work that is going on in Lancashire and beyond in cyber and digital.
"We’re privileged to be continuing to work with the NCF, which will soon be opening just a few miles from our campus, and partners like IN4 Group to make sure that our students, prospective students and the wider community understand the immense opportunity to build and progress their careers in an exciting field right on their doorstep.
"That's why we have invested £1.2 million into best-in-class cyber training facilities.”
Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, added: “Working alongside education providers, such as Blackburn College, unlocks the potential of highly skilled local talent through technology. It’s paramount we provide pathways into careers which deliver sustainable prosperity in our communities.”
The event follows closely on the back of a new collaborative initiative launched at an inaugural, Lancashire Cyber Festival on 14 and 15 November. The Lancashire Cyber Partnership (LCP), which NCF forms part of, will shape, support and promote the County’s world-class cyber strengths and fast-growing cyber ecosystem.