Leading the way in cyber security education  

We are thrilled to announce that Bridgend College is one of the first colleges in the UK to have been awarded CyberFirst Gold recognition by the National Cyber Security Centre for our ongoing cyber initiatives. CyberFirst is a programme of opportunities to help young people explore their passion for technology by introducing them to the fast-paced world of cyber security. 

As a CyberFirst Gold College, we are committed to ensuring that online security and the importance of data protection is discussed across the curriculum and not solely in IT-related classes. We regularly deliver sessions covering internet security and staying safe online to students across the College from our digital innovation space, Den01. This space also offers wider programs involving community and schools outreach and staff training. We have delivered Google’s ‘Be Internet Awesome’ sessions which focus on data protection and privacy online and part of our new essential skills offer from September 2020 will include training for all learners on the importance of data protection, file security and privacy online.

Simon Pirotte, Principal and CEO of Bridgend College, said,

“We are delighted to have been recognised as a CyberFirst Gold College and this accreditation represents our ongoing commitment to providing an innovative and extraordinary curriculum for our learners. This programme complements our exciting new Cyber College Cymru partnership and will provide us with further opportunities to enable our learners to progress to meaningful, sustainable employment in an ever-changing job market. We look forward to working closely with the NCSC on the next stages of this opportunity.”

Bridgend College provides students with opportunities to engage with universities as well as local and national companies on course-related content and other enrichment activities. 

As part of our wider cyber security delivery, we have partnered with three global companies; Admiral, Thales and Fujitsu, on the new Cyber College Cymru programme. Each of these companies, in addition to the University of South Wales, have committed to offer weekly masterclasses, work placements and training towards professional certifications for our learners over the two year programme of study. Students on the Cyber College Cymru course will also be involved in the Cyber Discovery programme this year. This involves taking part in hundreds of hours’ worth of challenges, tasks and games.

We have secured Digital 2030 funding from Welsh Government to create a future skills hub at the College as part of our digital strategy, offering both student outreach programmes and staff CPD provision across South Wales. A strong focus of this new hub is cyber security, which coupled with the development of our STEAM Academy, opening in September 2021, has lifted computing and our advancements in cyber to form a pivotal part of our longer term strategy as an organisation.

We are extremely proud to have been given the title of a CyberFirst Gold standard College as a reflection of our commitment to providing the right cyber skills for the next generation of learners.