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Ready, cyber, go…

Yn galw ar bob arwres seiber...

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans is encouraging girls aged 12-13 [year 8] from across Wales to take part in the CyberFirst Girls 2020 competition, which opens for registration today [Monday 2 December].

The competition, which is run by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, is designed to encourage and inspire the next generation of young women to consider a career in cyber security, an industry that is traditionally male dominated.

Teams from across Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be tested with a series of fun and exciting problem solving puzzles and challenges to help them develop their skills in cyber security and ultimately secure a place in the grand final.

And for the first time ever the national final will be held in Wales, with a new regional semi-final round being introduced to ensure representation from all parts of the UK.

Encouraging pupils from across Wales to get involved, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“This competition is a fantastic opportunity to both educate and nurture young talent in a fun environment, and help develop a diverse workforce that contributes towards protecting our nation’s future cyber security.

“I want to encourage girls across Wales to take part in this exciting challenge, have fun and learn something new about cyber security.

“Good luck to everyone taking part.”

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Growth, said:

“We’re thrilled to introduce regional semi-finals for this year’s competition to ensure some of the most talented minds from across the country showcase their skills in the final.

“Young people play an increasingly vital role in cyber security, and it’s never been more important to identify and diversify the future workforce to continue keeping the UK safe.

“This is the first time the CyberFirst Girls Competition final will be held in Wales and it will no doubt inspire the next generation of cyber security experts here.”

Notes to editors

Notes to editors

The NCSC CyberFirst competition is a team event, with each team made up of four female students from Year 8 in England and Wales, Year 9 in Northern Ireland and S2 in Scotland. 

The competition consists of three phases:

  • the online qualifying round to identify the top teams that will qualify for the semi-final round
  • the regional semi-finals where teams will battle it out in their areas to qualify for a place in the grand final
  • the grand final where the top ten teams from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the regions in England will gather to compete for the title of CyberFirst Girls Competition Winners 2020.

The content for each phase of the competition is consistent with subjects within the computer science syllabus from both the National Curriculum and Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence. The competition will also contain some advanced cyber topics that are not covered in traditional education but will seek to stretch lateral thinking.