Lancaster University and IN4 Group have signed a new partnership, aiming to develop the best tech talent from across every community in the region. 

It will see the establishment of 24 CyberFirst Gold Hubs, one in each of the North West Local Authority areas, which aims to give young people access to 'world-class technology skills and employment'.

It is the brainchild of Blackburn-born, Mo Isap, the CEO of IN4 Group, with the first CyberFirst Gold Hubs established in Blackburn and Preston.

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. 

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.”

This follows IN4’s major contract win of the North West contract for CyberFirst, a programme backed by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, which was established to encourage a diverse range of young people to pursue careers in the cyber sector. 

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.

Vice Chancellor at Lancaster University, Professor Andy Schofield said: “We welcome this partnership with IN4 and are excited about the opportunities we can bring to young people in Lancashire and the wider region.

“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.”

Director of Partnerships and Community at IN4 Group Sameena Khan will be based at Lancaster University to support the establishment of key relationships across the government, academia and industry.