Lancaster University and IN4 Group have signed a new partnership, which will attract major investment into North West towns.
It will see the establishment of 24 CyberFirst Gold Hubs, one in each of the North West Local Authority areas, which aims to give every single young person access to world-class technology skills and employment.
As the brainchild of Mo Isap, the CEO of IN4 Group, Lancashire will see the creation of the hubs in Blackburn and Preston as the blueprint rolls out across the region.
CyberFirst Gold Hubs established with Cyberfirst Gold recognised Colleges and Sixth Forms will attract inward investment to deliver STEM educational enrichment and develop a technology-embedded integrated curriculum.
They will work with education and corporate partners, including IBM, Northrop Grumman, KPMG UK, QinetiQ, and BT, to deliver skills to young people and drive employment through best-in-class degree apprenticeships and degree courses.
Mo said: “We need to urgently level the playing field to reach every single young person in every single conurbation, in every single town, in every single ward, and every single street to give them this opportunity to learn better with tech and have a clear pathway to achieving a career in tech.
“This pioneering strategic partnership between IN4 Group and Lancaster University is a significant step towards building a thriving pipeline of tech talent that will help shape the future of the North West Cyber Corridor.”
In addition to the building of the educational blueprint, the Lancaster University partnership will support the creation of cyber jobs in the region and upskill adults, to further cement Lancashire’s position at the heart of the North West Cyber Corridor.
This will be through the CyberFirst programme’s activities and the upskilling of adult learners through IN4 Group’s Skills City division, which is one of the UK’s largest digital Skills Bootcamps operations.
Lancaster University – which is ranked top 15 or above in all major UK league tables – is one of only a handful of universities in the UK whose education, research and training is recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre.
Professor Andy Schofield, vice chancellor at Lancaster University, said: “Through this partnership, we aim to share our expertise in all aspects of cyber research, teaching and training with our communities and work to promote the cyber sector as a career choice to a range of people who may not have considered it.”