Cyber College Cymru ready for new generation of digital talent

Bridgend College, in partnership with Coleg Gwent and the University of South Wales, is proud to announce a pilot scheme from September 2020 that will form a new qualification in cyber security, designed to create new routes into tech careers for a new generation of digital learners.

Cyber College Cymru will offer learners hundreds of hours of industry input with big-name industry partners, such as Admiral, Thales and Fujitsu, and a fresh curriculum developed with the colleges and the University of South Wales under the Strategic Insight Programme funded by HEFCW. This includes mentoring, work placements and industry experience for the students selected for Cyber College Cymru.

The qualification will lead to a BTEC Diploma in IT together with support towards a host of available professional certifications in cloud technologies from Google or Amazon. This course, coupled with cyber industry relevant and supported projects through the Welsh Baccalaureate, will enable learners to be highly employable candidates in the cyber field.

If successful, the programme can be rolled out across Wales.

Speaking to teachers and students at an event in the National Digital Exploitation Centre [NDEC] in Ebbw Vale, Education Minister Kirsty Williams said:

“We’re always looking for ways to work with employers to get flexible, relevant learning.

“Cyber is about much more than staying safe online, and touches every part of our daily lives.

“If we can give Welsh teenagers a new route to study cyber at higher education or go straight into the industry, we’ll be giving them a real advantage in a major and growing industry.”

Two cohorts of 20 students will begin their studies in September at Bridgend College and Coleg Gwent’s Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone campus, situated at Ebbw Vale.

Steve Cottrell, Group Chief Information Security Officer of Admiral, chairs the Cyber College working group and said:

“The Cyber College Cymru initiative is about industry partners coming together to work with our local colleges and develop something new and relevant for the skills needs we have, now and in the future.

“We all have a shared interest in growing our own talent: both getting Welsh teenagers to consider a career in cyber, and giving them the education and experience they need to meet that ambition. Cyber College Cymru is a great innovation driven by what we need in the world of industry and technology.”

Dr Alyson Thomas, Director of Policy and Funding in HEFCW, said:

“We have been pleased to be able to fund the University of South Wales to really get to understand the needs of employers and industry to help set curriculum to deliver excellent digital skills. Matching employers with further and higher education institutions has been crucial in promoting a shared understanding of the digital needs of south east Wales. It is good to see the partners building on the support we provided as they construct a model for delivering a new curriculum in cyber and pathways for learners from level three and beyond.”

For more information about Cyber College Cymru at Bridgend College, please click here.