Government Minister arrives in Gloucestershire to click 'go' on new cyber degree apprenticeships

Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 11 September 2020 8:41

Government Minister arrives in Gloucestershire to click 'go' on new cyber degree apprenticeships

A measure of where we are economically, possibly, but certainly a sign of how significant the strides are being taken by Gloucestershire College explain the visit today (September 11) by a Government minister. 

Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, was at Gloucestershire College to launch its new cyber degree apprenticeships.

Ms Keegan, herself a former apprentice, then travelled on to the Gloucestershire Lift Off (Gloucestershire Jobs, Skills and Apprenticeship Lift Off) event at Kingsholm stadium.

But before doing that she spoke to this is all about - those people now able to retrain for jobs in businesses in the county - in this case, Ben Heathfield, from Bamboo Technology based in Cheltenham, and Taylor Watson, from CSA Cyber Security Associates based in Gloucester. Both on the new cyber degree apprenticesships.

Pictured: Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills with Gloucestershire College Cyber Degree Apprentices Ben Heathfield and Taylor Watson

Read more: Take part in our survey: Where now for Gloucestershire?

“The academic and work-based skills these apprentices will learn will offer a lifetime of opportunity – making them highly sought after and valuable employees. 

I’m also delighted to be able to experience first-hand the brand-new cyber teaching rooms funded by the Government’s West of England Institute of Technology,” said the minister.

£It's my pleasure to officially launch Gloucestershire College's Cyber degree apprenticeship and celebrate its first week of teaching.

"Meeting GC cyber degree apprentices like Taylor and Ben is so important to show the nation how essential it is for employers to continue to offer apprentice training programmes. Despite the economic implications of COVID, it is crucial we support these vital training opportunities to both  future proof and secure our economy and continue to develop these highly talented individuals."

Matthew Burgess, Gloucestershire College Principal the visit was all part of the work being done to 'cement' Gloucestershire as "the cyber capital for the nation".

“Our partnership with UWE Bristol to deliver cyber degree apprenticeships will ensure that we can support organisations by providing a strong talent pipeline of highly skilled individuals as we train the next cyber generation; boosting the local economy and raising Gloucestershire’s cyber profile,”  said Mr Burgess.

The new cyber security degree apprenticeship is accredited by UWE Bristol and described as “a strategic partnership dedicated to supporting the region’s cyber ambitions. 

The course aims to deliver in-depth technical training across four years in core areas including malware, threats and defensive programming, risk assessment and computer architecture. 

Apprentices will learn ethical hacking and develop their skills at preventing cyber-attacks.



Gloucestershire College received more than £3m investment through the Government’s West of England Institute of Technology (WEIoT) programme for the new course. 

The WEIoT funding has created what the college describes as “state-of-the-art cyber rooms at GC’s Gloucester Campus, and a dedicated cyber training facility at GC’s Cheltenham Campus, featuring cyber design and attack rooms, bespoke cyber and engineering labs and dedicated study pods. 

Post visit the the Minister headed for Kingsholm stadium for the Gloucestershire Jobs, Skills and Apprenticeships Lift Off (Glos Liftoff).

To see the event live visit: www.glosliftoff.co.uk/livestream

Read more: Take part in our survey: Where now for Gloucestershire?