Girlguiding South West England and the National Cyber Security Centre have partnered on the project which will include a range of resources aimed at getting more young women able to deal with potential cyber threats. One resource, called ‘On the net’, includes a range of activities for girls to complete within their units after which the badges can be collected. Staged with levels to cover all ages within Guiding, from Rainbows to Rangers, the activity pack is designed to increase awareness.
The resource incorporates aspects of the NCSC’s successful CyberFirst initiative, which has seen in excess of 24,000 young women engage in cyber security challenges. In an increasingly connected world young people are using connected devices everyday, and this initiative is a practical way of helping participants understand how devices interact.
Initiatives like this are vital at a time when the UK continues to grapple with a significant cyber security skills shortfall. To bridge that gap in the long term, attracting young women into a sector they have traditionally been under-represented in can only benefit the UK economy. Furthermore, all citizens require basic understanding and awareness of cyber issues and using easily accessible tools like this is an excellent way of ensuring more young women learn those skills at a young age.
Jacqueline de Rojas, President of techUK commented:
“The partnership between GCHQ and the NCSC working with Girlguiding South West England brings cyber and security into the public domain.
“Encouraging young girls to learn about cyber with the introduction of this new badge showcases how tech can work to keep us safe and aims to inspire and ignite the interest of the next generation into cyber skills.”
Jeremy Fleming, Director, GCHQ, said:
“I’m delighted that GCHQ and the NCSC have this opportunity to support Girlguiding South West England in learning about the exciting world of Cyber.
“As we look to the future, the world is becoming increasingly digital. Protecting the UK’s digital homeland is as critical as our intelligence mission.
“I hope some of the girls who complete these new Girlguiding Cyber activities will be inspired to become part of the next generation of experts our country needs to face the challenge of the next 100 years.”