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Gloucestershire Business News

Degree apprenticeship recognised by NCSC

Gloucestershire College is delighted to be the first college in England to offer a degree apprenticeship recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, for delivering quality education and training.

The Integrated Degree Apprenticeship in Cyber Security, delivered in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), has been awarded provisional certification by the UK's cyber experts, in the latest round of its certified degree initiative.

The initiative aims to help students make informed decisions about the courses on offer and set a high standard of cyber security teaching across UK institutions.

Launched in 2020 by the Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, Gillian Keegan MP, the first cohort of degree apprentices work for leading local businesses, including Bamboo Technology Group, CDS Defence and Security, Cyber Security Associates, Infrastar, South Gloucestershire Council and Babcock International.

The course is taught by experienced industry professionals from Gloucestershire College and UWE Bristol at the college's new £3m cyber, IT and engineering facilities at Cheltenham campus. Apprentices will gain a UWE Bristol BSc (Hons) Cyber Security Technical Professional degree and experience in operating autonomously; leading teams to manage cyber security risks and secure solutions end-to-end; and detecting and responding to incidents.

Andy Bates, chief financial officer at Gloucestershire College, said: "We're delighted to be the first college in the country to achieve recognition by the NCSC for our cyber degree apprenticeship. With Cheltenham on track to become the cyber tech capital of the UK, thanks to the Golden Valley Development and links to GCHQ - not forgetting our cutting-edge new training facility nearby - there couldn't be a better place to train and launch a career in the sector.

"This certification validates the quality of content and standards for our apprenticeship, ensuring our apprentices leave with the essential industry skills, expertise and confidence needed to succeed."

The certification is one of only two of the first degree apprenticeships recognised by the NCSC - the other being Edinburgh Napier University - forming part of the UK-wide initiative to help students make informed choices about their pathway into cyber security.

Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for cyber growth, said: "I am delighted that the University of the West of England's Integrated Degree Apprenticeship in Cyber Security, delivered in partnership with Gloucestershire College, is now certified by the NCSC, giving prospective students yet another route into a cyber security career.

"I believe this recognition will help prospective students make more informed choices about the courses that are on offer and give employers the confidence that their apprentices will be given the foundations on which to build valued industry skills."

Ian Johnson, associate head of department information science and co-director of UWEcyber, said: "As an NCSC recognised Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Education, we are very proud of both this recognition for our integrated degree apprenticeship, and our partnership with Gloucestershire College, enhancing our reputation as a beacon of excellence in cyber security education across the region."

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