The NDA Cyber Security Lab offers courses from summer taster programmes to degree apprenticeships. Unfortunately, though this fantastic facility exists locally, many of the school’s learners are reluctant to apply to what they see as something so ambitious and unknown. The Cyber First programme has limited places and despite learner interest, the uncertainty and hesitation has led to learners applying late or not at all, and none of the school’s learners have accessed the programme.

The Cyber Security project seeks to remove these obstacles and immerse learners in a highly engaging programme developing their awareness and skills relating to cyber security, their familiarity with the facility and the potential career paths, and their understanding of the employment opportunities available – in particular the degree apprenticeships. The project will see learners working with a number of local employers, including Thomas Armstrong who will support the development and understanding of cyber security and computer processes. Learners will take part in whole-day workshops at the Lab where they will learn everything from ethical hacking to developing a firewall; ultimately, learners will take part in a simulated ‘capture the flag’ cyber-attack and defence activity. We hope that the project will benefit students through increased confidence and familiarity with one of the premier providers of higher level apprenticeships.

The National College for Nuclear offers outstanding facilities, courses (including a number of higher apprenticeships and degrees) and employer access. This project aims to develop an engagement and familiarity with the facilities and opportunities available; learners will take part in a six-week ‘Radioactive’ higher level (post GCSE) programme of study aimed at developing understanding and setting the bar for higher level study. The programme will culminate in an immersion day at the College with learners working on projects involving virtual reality and a lab based experiment with a simulated radiation drill including full security lock down and decontamination!

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