Developing the skills of future cyber security experts


We’re working with the University of South Wales on a nationwide project to develop the skills of Wales’ next generation of cyber security experts.

Our Technocamps hub in the University of South Wales, which is a Gold standard National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) partner and which has won ‘Cyber University of the Year’ for four consecutive, is leading the NCSC’s CyberFirst Schools and Colleges programme in Wales, in partnership with the Universities of Bangor and Swansea.

The programme is also supported by the Ebbw Vale-based National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC), which was co-developed by the Welsh Government, USW, and technology company Thales.

CyberFirst is a programme created by the NCSC to help young people explore their passion for tech by introducing them to the fast-paced world of cyber security.

As part of this, the CyberFirst schools and colleges award will commend those who have shown an  excellent approach to cyber and computing education. In Wales, upon gaining the award, the schools and colleges are partnered with a cyber or technology business to work on a cyber themed ‘engagement framework’ designed to support the school or college to achieve its cyber and computing education strategy.

Sharan Johnstone, who is Director of the Academic Centre of Excellence at USW, the University’s Head of Subject for Cyber Security and Digital Forensics, and was named Wales’ STEM Woman of the Year last autumn, said: “Leading on this project in Wales is a fantastic opportunity for USW, and shows how the major players in the industry recognise our excellence and trust us to educate the next generation of cyber security experts.

“We’re really excited to be able to support CyberFirst and help Wales further enhance its reputation as a world leader in this vital industry.”

Case studies

Rhys Driscoll, Digital Lead at St Joseph’s R.C High School in Newport, which is a Silver CyberFirst school, said: “Our school has greatly benefited from the CyberFirst scheme, which has enabled us to educate a wider audience about the importance of cyber security.

“Through the scheme, our students have been presented with various opportunities and experiences that have challenged and inspired them, enhancing their digital knowledge, skills, and experience, with a focus on problem-solving and cyber challenges.  e have also been able to extend our outreach to the wider community, supporting their positive engagement with cyber education.

“With our partnership with Airbus, we are thrilled to bring real-world experience and expertise into our classrooms, further contributing to the development of skilled professionals in the industry.

“As a CyberFirst school, we are eager to continue raising awareness and promoting cyber education and skills across Wales, encouraging other institutions to join this initiative. Our efforts align with the Welsh Government’s vision for a digitally competent and cyber-aware population, and we are proud to be part of this essential effort.” 

Chloe Seaton, Senior Associate at PWC, which is partnering with Cardiff High School as part of the scheme, said: “I am extremely excited to partner with Cyber First and Cardiff High School to share the importance of cyber security awareness and to show young students that you can come from any background with an array of skills and be welcomed into the cyber industry.”