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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Discover and train for a new career in cyber security

Economy Minister Diane Dodds has launched a new pilot online skills platform aimed at helping users to retrain into the cyber security industry.

The NI Cyber Gateway Aptitude Programme consists of a variety of online challenges and mini games called ‘labs’. Each lab focuses on a different area of cyber security to help the user become more familiar with, and find placement/job opportunities in, four key roles within the industry.

Commenting on the launch the Minster said:

“Northern Ireland has a growing international reputation in cyber security and the industry has seen significant growth in recent years.

“Recently I launched my 10X Skills Strategy consultation process. The strategy emphasises the need to invest in the skills and talent of our workforce. This investment is critical if we are to deliver the vision of better skills, better jobs and better lives for the citizens of Northern Ireland.

“We have been working closely with the cyber security industry to promote the varied and rewarding careers available. The NI Cyber Gateway Aptitude Programme will help people to explore opportunities within the cyber security industry and gain the necessary skills to start their career. The platform is available 24 hours a day meaning users can decide to study at a time that suits them helping to overcome one of the barriers to retraining.”

Delivered by Capita and Immersive Labs, the online training will help NI citizens to find out whether they have what it takes to succeed in cyber security and provide the knowledge and skills needed to begin a career in this fast-growing industry.

Participants don’t need experience in a tech or cyber role to get involved but must:

  • be aged 16 or over;

  • live in Northern Ireland; and

  • have a GCSE or equivalent in Maths and English.

Mark Roberts, Head of Cyber at Capita Consulting, said:

“We are proud to be working with the Northern Ireland Executive and Immersive Labs on this pilot programme. The pilot will enable Northern Ireland’s citizens to develop the knowledge and skills necessary to build a career in cyber security and bring additional benefits to the regional economy.”

James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs, said:

“As cyber risk continues to spread across large organisations, it requires an increasing breadth of skills in ever-growing numbers. With this new pilot programme, the Northern Ireland Government is taking an innovative approach to helping address this issue, while also providing much needed diversity. These core beliefs are central to Immersive Labs, so it is an honour to be involved.”

To access more information about the programme visit:

The pilot academy represents a £400,000 investment, funded jointly by the National Cyber Security Programme and the Department for the Economy Innovation fund.

The four entry level cyber security roles available to candidates to train for are: Cyber Defence Incident Responder, Security Operations Centre (SOC) Analyst, Systems Security Analyst and Vulnerability Assessment Analyst.

Upon completion of training, users are then offered access to relevant placement/job vacancies as well as being signposted towards further training pathways.


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