Accelerating up the take-up of tech skills

A highly anticipated cyber initiative has been brought to life at West Lothian College.

CyberDrive will transport pop-up cyber labs to secondary schools in West Lothian to accelerate the uptake of cyber skills and help address shortages in Scotland’s growing tech sector.

West Lothian College cyber experts will use a highly visible cyber van to take high-end technology to schools where they will deliver hands-on workshops on cyber security, coding and virtual reality.

The initiative was brought to life in partnership with tech industry body, ScotlandIS, who secured funding from the Scottish Government to enable the college to invest in leading edge technology that will be used to run the workshops in locations across West Lothian.

The West Lothian Development Trust funded the van that will take these workshops to towns and villages across the county.

Young people will be introduced to cutting-edge technology, challenges and opportunities in the world of cyber security through workshops on Encryption Breaking, Cyber Security, Digital Forensics, Python Coding, Robotics, and Virtual Reality.

These exciting activities, supported by the college, ScotlandIS and the Scottish Government, will ignite a passion for a critical industry sector.

Technology is changing the way we work, learn and play. Getting the most out of this needs people with the right skills to create solutions that are human-led while powered by digital technology.

Young people today have grown up in a digital world, yet many choose not to study or work in tech. CyberDrive aims to spark interest in this exciting field of work where highly paid, rewarding jobs are abundant.

Karen Meechan, chief executive of ScotlandIS, said:

We are very excited about this initiative, which aims to engage our young people in the wide range of cybersecurity careers that are available. Our 2023 Scottish Technology Industry Survey reported that demand for cyber security skills increased by 12% from the previous year, and the sector in Scotland is constantly growing. This is a great chance to get school pupils to build these skills that they may otherwise not have the opportunity to develop.

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