UK offers teens cybersecurity classes to fight attacks

AP17040833826430.jpg

Amani Kegode and others gather during a Collegiate Cyber Defense Club meeting in East Hall at Dakota State University in Madison, S.D. in this file photo on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2017. (Jay Pickthorn/The Argus Leader via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Britain plans to give afterschool cybersecurity training to thousands of teenagers in a bid to protect the country from online attacks.

The government says it has earmarked 20 million pounds ($25 million) for a Cyber Schools Program, due to start in September.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said Saturday it hopes almost 6,000 students aged 14 to 18 will complete the extracurricular course by 2021 and that many will go on to cybersecurity careers.

Culture Minister Matt Hancock said the “these extracurricular clubs will help identify and inspire future talent.”

Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee said last week that Britain’s electronic spy agency, GCHQ, dealt with 200 cyberattacks a month in 2015, double the number in 2014.

The committee said skills shortages are undermining Britain’s ability to block cyberattacks.