100 Leicester students become cyberfirst adventurers to explore potential of technology

  • Challenges included stopping the spread of disease, combating fake news and creating the ultimate sports team
  • Event held to highlight need for future cyber experts

This weekend saw 100 pupils aged 11-14 from across Leicester come together for an introduction to cyber security. The Cyberfirst event, held at the University of Leicester in partnership with Santander, one of the city’s largest employers, was designed to highlight the skills gap in cyber security and the wide variety of careers computer science can lead to.

The students participated in a full day workshop in which they explored a number of different challenges which brought to life the important role cyber experts will play in an increasingly technologically driven world. These included the use of digital forensics in combatting the spread of an infectious disease and fake news as well as customising websites.

Cyberfirst is an innovative programme created by a specialist division of GCHQ.  It is designed to help young people explore their passion for technology and introduce them to the world of cyber security.  This weekend’s event was attended by pupils in years 7, 8 and 9, along with their parents or guardians, with the aim of learning more about the benefits of computer science before they start to make their GCSE choices.

The event was opened by Lorcan Seery, Emerging Talent Manager at Santander UK.  He said:  “It’s vital that the UK develops the wide variety of cyber skills which are becoming increasingly critical in all types of organisations. By giving them some real world examples from a range of sectors, this workshop highlighted to pupils that computer science doesn't just lead to coding and programming. The feedback was really positive with the students saying they found the challenges tough, but really enjoyed working together to solve them.  I’m sure we’ve planted the seed of inspiration for some future cyber experts.”

Leo Pears, a year 8 pupil at Lutterworth College, said:  “The workshop was really eye opening as we learnt about lots of different areas where computer science is vital.  I particularly liked the way we could use data to work out how to stop the spread of a killer disease - you can see how computer skills could save people's lives in the real world, not just in computer games.”

- Ends -

The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.

Notes to Editors:

Cyberfirst is an innovative programme created by a specialist division of GCHQ. It is designed to help young people explore their passion for technology and introduce them to the world of cyber security. It is a pivotal part of the UK government’s National Cyber Security Programme covering a broad range of activities, a comprehensive bursary scheme, and development courses at UK universities and colleges.

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its innovative products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. At 30 June 2018, the bank has c24,200 employees. It serves around 15 million active customers, via a nationwide branch network, telephone, mobile and online banking; and 64 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.

About Us
Banco Santander (SAN SM, STD US, BNC LN) is a leading retail and commercial bank, founded in 1857 and headquartered in Spain. It has a meaningful market share in 10 core markets in Europe and the Americas, and is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. At the end of June 2018, Banco Santander had EUR 981 billion in customer funds (deposits and mutual funds), 140 million customers, 13,500 branches and 200,000 employees. Banco Santander made attributable profit of EUR 3,752 million in the first half of 2018, an increase of 4% compared to the same period last year.

Media Enquiries
Leonora Burtenshaw     T: 020 7756 4543      E: Leonora.burtenshaw@santander.co.uk
Follow @santanderuknews on Twitter

The Santander press office operates from 8.00am to 6.00pm. Outside of these hours please call 0800 5877708.