College and sixth form students from across Lancashire came together to experience and learn more about the careers and opportunities available on their doorstep in digital and cyber.
The event was jointly hosted by the National Cyber Force (NCF) and Blackburn College, who teamed up with IN4 Group.
They welcomed students from colleges including Cardinal Newman, Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School, Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School, Moor Park, and Runshaw College, to its town centre campus.
Students took part in a host of activities aimed at giving them a flavour of digital and cyber courses and careers, including testing Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT) tools and micro: bit coding.
The group also had the chance to tour and use the facilities at the college, including the new, state-of-the-art cyber suite at University Centre Blackburn College, to learn about progression opportunities to relevant Higher Education courses, such as the College’s BSc (Hons) Networking and Cyber Security (validated by Lancaster University).
The NCF, a partnership between defence and intelligence, is set to open its new home in Samlesbury in 2025 and will have a significant role to play in the growth of Lancashire’s digital, technology and defence sectors.
Those attending the event heard from an NCF representative about its role in keeping the country safe through responsible cyber operations and protecting and promoting the UK’s interests at home and abroad, and what the roles of the future might look like.
Dr Fazal Dad, principal and chief executive of Blackburn College, said: “Collaborative events, such as this one, showcase the fantastic work that is going on in Lancashire and beyond in cyber and digital.
"We’re privileged to be continuing to work with the NCF, which will soon be opening just a few miles from our campus, and partners like IN4 Group to make sure that our students, prospective students and the wider community understand the immense opportunity to build and progress their careers in an exciting field right on their doorstep."
Mo Isap, CEO of IN4 Group, added: “Working alongside education providers, such as Blackburn College, unlocks the potential of highly skilled local talent through technology. It’s paramount we provide pathways into careers which deliver sustainable prosperity in our communities.”
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