The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has announced plans for a cyber security and hacking lab to help school and college students learn the relevant skills.
It has made £100,000 available to create a centre for ethical hacking and network security, aiming to give students experience in activities such as interactive challenges on hacking and defending networks.
The lab will be free to all schools and colleges in the region from September.
WMCA has called for training providers, colleges, community organisations and charities to get involved in the project.
Matt Jones, chair of the West Midlands Digital Skills Partnership Board, said: “Cyber crime costs the UK billions of pounds each year, causes untold damage and threatens national security, so it’s vital that we have a local workforce with the skills needed to combat cyber attacks as they become ever more sophisticated. We know there is a digital skills gap across all industries, and jobs in technology continue to be in high demand even during the lockdown.
“Our young people are our future and we need their contribution to help rebuild our region’s economy in the longer term after the Covid-19 crisis. It’s great that the WMCA is enabling young people to learn new digital skills through innovative training programmes, such as the cyber security and hacking lab.”
Image: Harland Quarrington/MoD, Open Government Licence v1.0 through Wikimedia