News story

Cyber security skills for the next generation

Special education for 11 to 14 year-olds and higher level apprenticeships form government plans to improve the UK's cyber security skills.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Children gather around a laptop

The growth of the internet has changed everyday life and is also an important part of our economy. The online market in the UK is now worth an estimated £82 billion a year while British businesses earn £1 in every £5 from the internet. But with this comes greater vulnerability to cyber crime.

With the cost for a cyber-security breach estimated between £450,000 to £850,000 for large businesses and £35,000 to £65,000 for smaller ones, the government is looking at new ways to protect businesses and make the UK more resilient to cyber attacks and crime. It is also looking at ways to introduce cyber security skills to a younger generation as early as possible.

The ‘Cyber security skills: business perspectives and government’s next steps’ report, published today (13 March 2014), includes plans to provide training for teachers to enable them to teach pupils about cyber security.

Support will also be offered to universities that devise innovative proposals to improve cyber security teaching; a new internship scheme will help provide students with the work experience employers are looking for.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

Today countries that can manage cyber security risks have a clear competitive advantage.

By ensuring cyber security is integral to education at all ages, we will help equip the UK with the professional and technical skills we need for long-term economic growth.

Published 13 March 2014