Students learn cyber skills at GCHQ summer school

5th June 2014'Feature on GCHQ Scarborough.'Pictured staff at work at the base'Picture by Gerard Binks.'GB100167e
5th June 2014'Feature on GCHQ Scarborough.'Pictured staff at work at the base'Picture by Gerard Binks.'GB100167e

A summer school to teach young people cyber skills has been running at GCHQ in Scarborough.

The intelligence agency, which has a base at Irton Moor, invited guests from local schools and colleges to see first-hand how it is training the workforce of the future.

The summer school for 32 students, titled “Northern Exposure”, ran for six weeks and involved training in information assurance, the structure of the internet and programming languages.

GCHQ runs the school as part of its commitment to improving science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills and is working closely with local communities to facilitate this.

Additionally, it is seeking to introduce those with a Humanities background into the world of cyber. As well as coaching young people from a diverse range of backgrounds at the cyber summer school, it holds a seat on the Scarborough University Technical College (UTC) Steering Group, helping to promote an interest in computing, networking and cyber security with local 14-18 year-olds.

During their tour, the visitors, who included representatives from Scarborough University Technical College (UTC), Coventry University, Teesside University, University of York, Gill Tate Associates careers consultancy, Packard & Associates careers consultancy and North Yorkshire County Council, met the head of station and the staff and trainers involved in running the summer school. They were shown round the facility and had the chance to talk to the students.

GCHQ’s head of station said: “I was proud to be able to show our visitors this excellent facility and to demonstrate to them the kind of skills GCHQ needs to be provided by educational establishments in order to continue to keep the UK safe for generations to come.”