As issues concerning internet security continue to make headlines across the world, students throughout Surrey are being offered the opportunity to become online safety experts with a new training course for 14 to 19 year olds.
With Surrey being the UK home to some of the major names in the technology industry and one of the fastest growing economic regions in England there's a heightened awareness that having security savvy and well-trained young folk joining the workforce is of an ever-increasing imperative when it comes to safeguarding the integrity and growth of businesses in an ever more digital world. And it's with this in mind that the Government announced the chance for up to 720 students to receive training in cyber security, I.T and computer science & engineering at the Guildford University Technical College (UTC).
The course, which will provide students with an additional qualification to go alongside GCSE and A Level study is being backed by major local industry names such as BAE Systems and Babcock International, as well as partnerships with Surrey County Council, Guildford Education Partnerships and the Royal Holloway, University of London.
It marks a recognition that the UK economy and Surrey's local industrial landscape in particular, is more and more being shaped through digital age technology and the internet, within which there are inherent threats to security and indeed technological malfunction. As we've seen in some fairly high profile incidents in recent times - and as any business leader who's been on the receiving end will attest to - such breaches can have serious and costly implications to businesses of any size.
Skills for the Next Generation
In many respects, the UTC will be preparing students for the next generation of Surrey's workforce to be more technologically focused - Schools Minister Lord Nash commented on the launch that this would be an example of how technological learning was being placed on a par with more academic education. All of which sounds like a positive move towards a new workforce with a set of skills applicable to the challenges with which they'll be presented.
The focus of course for the students will be to present them with greater opportunities for employment when they leave education as they develop a skillset which will, theoretically, enable them to find work in a computer science, engineering and I.T. sector which grows in prominence and scale year on year. Not to mention the fact that these requirements are not exclusive to simply computing and technology businesses but are an integral component of almost all industries operating - all of whom face similar risks and potential threats - something we see daily as a provider of I.T. support throughout Surrey and the South East.
Highlighting the Challenges of Today
Indeed, the announcement of this UTC not only reflects a mood to train for the future one suspects, but also brings into focus the challenges that businesses around the world are already having to face up to.
Every year the number of cyber attacks rises, each one presenting a genuine and debilitating risk to all those who are subjected to such an attack; from theft of sensitive data, personal information or the costs attached to systems going down. We know all too well how I.T. systems, from the simplest office system to complex services, can and frequently are an integral component of a business' infrastructure. Whether through an attack or simply inadequate maintenance, should the system fail or be breached then the costs are often very significant indeed.
Naturally, as an I.T. service in Surrey we remain focused on the here and now, advocating a robust approach to your system so that it is as secure as it can be while functioning efficiently for your business needs.