South West College have been recognised as a GOLD Provider of Cyber Security Education. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) have published a list of schools and colleges that have achieved CyberFirst recognition at Gold, Silver or Bronze level. By achieving Gold Provider status South West College have been recognised as delivering excellence in cyber security education.
NCSC and the UK Government use industry and academic expertise to nurture the UK’s cyber security capability. They help to build the UK’s talent pipeline, promote innovation and develop the country’s cyber security research, ensuring a secure, resilient and prosperous economy by providing people and organisations with the cyber security skills they need. In addition, the NCSC supports government by working alongside education to meet the UK’s needs in technology and cyber security and to stimulate a diverse talent pipeline.
The CyberFirst initiative comes from this collaboration and aims to identify and nurture the future generation of cyber security experts to keep the UK safe into the future. Applications for CyberFirst status were open for both schools and colleges.
South West College’s application came on the back of a long history of developing and delivering curriculum in Computing and Cyber Security to students on Level 1 to Level 6 programmes. The SWC Senior Management Team and Board of Governors are committed to Cyber Security Curriculum development and implementation as one of the key strategic areas of development.
Jobs within the Cyber Security and Computing Sector are predicted to grow by 4.2% per annum and “Skills in Demand” will increase the number of jobs available in the IT Sector. SWC recognises that there will be more skilled workers needed in this industry and are committed to providing the necessary training and education. SWC’s new GOLD standing recognises this and the Gold Award will be in place for a period of at least three years.
Sinead McGee, Head of School for Mathematics and Computing, believes this is good news for both current and future students at South West College. Sinead says, “we take great pride in offering courses and qualifications that help strengthen the IT sector in our local region. We have a group of highly qualified tutors that offer the best possible education to students who wish to embark on careers in IT and Cyber Security, and we also offer opportunities to local employers to grow and develop their IT programmes and practices in this regard. This Gold Award is a fitting reward for the work we’ve done in recent years, but we also hope it will be a catalyst for us going forward in teaching Cyber Security, because there is no doubt that this will be a growing career area. Above all we hope this award will encourage more students to come and take advantage of the Cyber Security and Computing/IT courses available to them at South West College.”
Padraig McNamee, Head of Faculty at South West College, added: "It’s great to receive external recognition for the quality of education and training South West College offers in the field of cyber security. We are now engaging with local industry and local schools to promote or courses and offer support in this area to as many people as possible. We are also working with our local district councils and InvestNI to use this high-quality provision to improve local investment, opportunities and employment."
To find out more about Computing and IT courses at South West College, visit: www.swc.ac.uk/learn/computing-it-courses or contact Heather Ellison at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Left to Right: Vaidas Vaisnora (Information Technology Student), Patrick Gilroy (Level 3 Information Technology Student), Nicole Donnelly (Lecturer), Heather Ellison (Deputy Head of School), Padraig McNamee (Head of Faculty).