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“We need to inspire the next generation of Cyber experts” says Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans

“Mae angen inni ysbrydoli'r genhedlaeth nesaf o arbenigwyr seiber” meddai'r Gweinidog Cyllid, Rebecca Evans

On International Day for Women and Girls in Science, Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans congratulates Welsh winners of the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) CyberFirst Girls competition and encourages more young women to follow in their footsteps and explore a career in cyber.

Hundreds of girls aged 12 and 13 from across Wales came together over the weekend to put their cyber skills to the test in a series of fun and exciting codebreaking challenges. Up for grabs was a place in the national final and after a day of problem solving the Cathedral School in Llandaff was announced as Wales’ winners.

The Cathedral School will now battle it out against the winning teams from Northern Ireland, Scotland and various towns and cities across England in the grand final which is being help in Wales on 16 March.

Congratulating the winning Welsh team, Finance Minister, Rebecca Evans said:

“This competition is a fantastic opportunity to spot and nurture our young female talent.

“Women are hugely unrepresented in the cyber industry in Wales, so competitions like these are a really important way to introduce young girls to the industry in an attempt to diversify the future workforce and inspire the next generation of cyber experts.

“I would like to send my congratulations to the winning team at the Cathedral School and wish them the best of luck for the national final.”

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Skills and Growth, said:

“Whether teams progressed to the national final or not, we hope that many of the girls who took part have been inspired to find out more about cyber security and pursue their interest in this exciting field.

“Congratulations to our Welsh champions at the Cathedral School. We look forward to seeing you in the final!”

Notes to editors

The National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberFirst Girls 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 compete to qualify for a place in the grand final
  • the grand final where the top teams from Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the regions in England will gather to compete for the title of CyberFirst Girls Competition Winners 2020.

This year the NCSC received the highest number of entries for Wales since the competition began.  

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.