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Cyber Wales Ecosystem answers call-to-arms as Welsh Student set to compete at WorldSkills 2019 Competition – 4 Aug 2019


Kyle Woodward, a student at the National Cyber Security Academy in Newport, has successfully battled his way through Local, Regional (Wales) and then National competition stages to gain a seat on the plane to represent Team UK at WorldSkills 2019 in Russia along with 30 other people. Team UK are now training hard in their respective areas of expertise for this opportunity to shoot for Gold Medals in this event which has been dubbed the “Vocational Olympics“.

WorldSkills 2019 will take place in Kazan, Russia on 22-27 August 2019. The WorldSkills Competition, which is run every two years hosted by different Nations each time, will bring together more than 1,600 young professionals representing more than 60 countries who will compete in 56 skills which are grouped into 6 Sectors including ICT. The event will be held at the KAZAN EXPO International Exhibition Centre where more than 1,500 Experts will evaluate the Competitors’ performance (see www.worldskills2019.com for more information).

7 competitors from Wales will represent Team UK at this competition, the highest ever number of Welsh competitors representing Team UK. The competitors from Wales include:

  • Kyle Woodward in Cyber Security from Cardiff and Vale College
  • Phoebe McLavy in Hairdressing from Coleg Sir Gar and Morgan Edward Salon
  • Collette Gorvett in Restaurant Service from Gower College Swansea
  • Chris Caine in Joinery from Pembrokeshire College and DH Carpentry
  • Sam Everton in Cooking from Pembrokeshire College and Crwst
  • Thomas Lewis in Electrical Installation from Cardiff and Vale College and Blues Electrical
  • Thomas Thomas in Plumbing from Coleg Meirion-Dwyfor

Kyle attended a Welsh Language school and is a fluent Welsh speaker, he then went to college (Cardiff & Vale) and then onto an apprenticeship degree course at the ground-breaking National Cyber Security Academy in the University of South Wales. He joined the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster when he started his degree and has been a very proactive member.

When we discovered that Kyle had been selected to represent Team UK at WorldSkills, the Cyber Wales Ecosystem put out a “Call to Arms” to the entire membership asking if anyone could help Kyle get some additional experience and knowledge training ahead of his trip to Russia and the response has been amazing (a real Welsh “Dunkirk” story!). We had lots of responses including: –

  • NHS Wales
  • SANS Institute in Swansea
  • Royal Signals Cyber Troop
  • TARIAN Regional Cyber Crime Unit
  • North Wales Police Cyber Crime Team
  • Glyndwr University
  • DVLA
  • Thales
  • Airbus

We also reached out to GlobalEPIC, the Global Ecosystem of Ecosystems in Cyber of which Cyber Wales is a Founding Member, which includes 27 Cyber Clusters in 18 countries across 6 continents and received invitations from The Hague Security Delta in the Netherlands and the iCyber Techhub in Maryland USA offering to host Kyle for some special training sessions and considering exchange visits for their Cyber Champions to come to Wales.

May’s South Wales Cluster Meeting was staged at the Cyber Village on the National Cyber Security Academy floor of the USW City Campus in Newport and the entire agenda was given over to providing learning, advice and tips on a number of cyber related topics from the experts in the Cyber Cluster. Questions were posed to prompt discussion and the group, offered opinions, experiences, healthy debate and handled any specific queries Kyle had around target learning areas in preparation for the competition.

After the meeting, Kyle was taken over to the Cardiff Barracks of the Royal Corps of Signals Cyber Protection Troop at 53 Signal Squadron where he joined members of British Army Cyberists from Cardiff, North Wales, London and Army HQ Wales for an interactive session on Cyber in the Armed Forces including the Cyber Kill Chain, Indicators of Compromise and the Army’s Cyber Incident Response Process.

Kyle was also welcomed by the NHS Informatics team and shown how incident response and secure programming are handled as well as being given the chance to quiz the team and get further guidance for study.

Following his adventures with the South Wales Cluster, Kyle travelled up to North Wales two days later for a session with the North Wales Cyber Security Cluster which included time in the new Cyber Labs at Glyndwr University, input from the North Wales Police Cyber Unit and a session with Cyber Experts in forensics and secure development.

SANS Institute, the biggest provider of Cyber Training in the World, who have their EMEA HQ in Swansea, also hosted Kyle, offering him £7,500 worth of certified training free of charge – which took place in Germany.

John Davies, CEO at Pervade Software and Chair of the South Wales Cyber Security Cluster, said: “Being part of Team UK at WorldSkills is a massive achievement for Kyle, and shows the strength and sense of community of the Cyber Ecosystem in Wales, with a number of cluster members offering experience and knowledge training as Kyle prepares to go to Russia. We’ve even set up exchanges for cyber champions with other eco system members across the world.”

We would like to take this opportunity to wish Kyle the best of luck in the competition and whatever the result, he will remain a winner in the eyes of all in Cyber Wales.

Pob Lwc Kyle a Team UK!

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