One of the aims of the Cyber Schools Programme is to encourage UK teens to pursue careers to help protect the nation.
Thousands of teenagers are to be given lessons in cyber security in the hope they will boost Britain’s defences against hackers and terrorists.
The Cyber Schools Programme aims to train 5,700 teenagers aged between 14 and 18 over the next five years to develop some of the key skills they would need to work in cyber security.
A “cyber curriculum” will be drawn up to mix classroom and online teaching with real-world challenges and hands-on work experience.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is providing £20m for the extracurricular lessons of four hours a week.
Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “This forward-thinking programme will see thousands of the best and brightest young minds given the opportunity to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their secondary school studies.
“We are determined to prepare Britain for the challenges it faces now and in the future and these extracurricular clubs will help identify and inspire future talent.”
DCMS is seeking providers to deliver the programme, with bids closing next month and the pilot scheme launching in September.
Last week, MPs warned that confidence in the Government’s ability to protect Britain from high-level cyber attacks is being undermined by skills shortages.
The Public Accounts Committee warned the threat of electronic data loss from cyber crime, espionage and accidental disclosure has risen considerably in recent years.
In 2015, GCHQ dealt with 200 national security incidents a month – double the number it was handling in the previous year.
Last year, the Government launched the National Cyber Security Centre, underpinned by a £1.9bn investment to counter the threats.