Lancashire to pilot new MoD bursary for students

By Tim Aldred

14 Sep 2023

Strategic Command Bursary

The government has selected Lancashire as the pilot region for its new bursary which is designed to encourage 16-to-18-year-olds to pursue careers in defence.

Lancashire has been chosen ahead of the opening of the National Cyber Force (NCF) headquarters in Samlesbury.

The NCF, a defence and intelligence partnership, carries out cyber operations to protect against threats to the UK, further the UK’s foreign policy, support military operations, and prevent serious crime.

The pilot has been launched by Strategic Command, which is part of the Ministry of Defence. The bursaries programme will incentivise the study of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and digital courses, and to promote careers in defence.

This STEM and digital bursary will initially be piloted with 100 students in four educational institutions, which have yet to be named. It will be coordinated through the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub.

The programme will provide successful applicants with financial support, a high-performance laptop, and a broad range of mentoring and development opportunities.

The bursary programme will launch this academic year, 2023/24, and following this Strategic Command plans to scale the programme significantly across the UK.

General Jim Hockenhull said: "Digital and technical skills are at the core of everything we do. Attracting the right talent into defence is critical for our operational capability.

"There are incredible people across the UK who can make an extraordinary contribution to UK national security. This exciting digital bursary programme is a crucial step in identifying and fostering this talent, and I look forward to working with partners across the country to reach as many people as possible."

Phillippa Williamson, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: "I’m really pleased that Lancashire has been chosen to pilot this exciting programme.

"We know there are many talented young people in the county and these bursaries will give 100 of them a huge helping hand to develop a career in defence.

"This comes at a really exciting time for us, as we prepare to welcome the National Cyber Force to Samlesbury and the Lancashire Skills and Employment Hub works to help develop more opportunities for people to develop their digital and technical skills."

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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