Inspire Skills Wales ran their Cyber Skills Competition today as part of their Skills Competition Programme for 2021.
All of the Colleges in Wales were invited to prepare and enter teams of individuals to battle it out in a Capture the Flag (CTF)competition which was hosted on the brand new Cyber Wales CyWIR Accelerated Learning Platform.
At the end of the CTF, while debriefing the contestants comments in the chat box were very positive: "Yeah, I liked the platform but SQLi was annoying :/ " commented one student; and "I found it fun. I noticed that I don't really know a lot in certain areas which I'm gonna look at and improve on it." said another.
Clare George, Digital Innovation Lead and Inspire Skills Excellence Champion for IT & Enterprise in Wales closed the competition saying "Big thank you to Cyber Wales for hosting and running the competition today, brilliant feedback from the competitors, and no technical issues."
Inspiring Skills Excellence in Wales prides itself for supporting young people across Wales to achieve excellence. We do this by supporting vocational learning through Skills Competitions and the Have a Go initiative, to help encourage young people to excel in the world of work. The project, secured by the Skills Ambassador Network (SAN) in 2014, is a Welsh Government funded initiative led by Coleg Sir Gar. The SAN, was established in 2011, and consists of a dedicated network of colleges, work-based learning providers and employer-led organisations. The project establishes a culture across colleges and training providers that delivers more than simply qualifications – it develops world class skills, with experiences that build the confidence and life skills of individuals.
The competitions all help to narrow down the field for the selection of skilled young individuals to become part of TEAM GB at the WorldSkills Competition the "Vocational Olympics" - which takes place every two years. The past event was held in Kazan in Russia and the next will be the 46th World competition and will be held in Shanghai in Singapore in October 2022.
Cyber Wales were very excited about rolling out the brand new Cyber Wales Interactive Range (CyWIR), an accelerated learning platform and cyber range, to put it through it's paces.
"Everyone scored points, no-one got all the flags (although it was close) and there were no technical issues with the platform" said Jason Davies, Co-founder of Cyber Wales and Manager of the North Wales Cyber Security Cluster. "This platform enables schools, colleges, universities and businesses to create and run their own learning materials on a locally hosted & managed platform without being beholden to large commercial companies who use their own content (and own the IP) and cost a lot of money. In addition to it's huge value to academia, this platform has also been piloted by the military and there are plans to use it for CTFs aimed at tracing missing persons in conjunction with the Police."
One terrific (but cheeky) suggestion to come from the students on this CTF was that the teachers and tutors at the colleges might like to have a go!
Some amazing cyber talent emerged on this CTF and we will all watch with interest to see how they get on in the WorldSkills qualifiers. In the meantime, anyone interested in finding out more about the CyWIR accelerated learning platform feel free to get in touch with Cyber Wales.