A WEST Cumbrian company is aiming to make cyber security a leading career choice for school pupils.

Malware and hackers might be the two biggest challenges facing cyber security but a skills shortage means the industry is struggling to keep pace.

A recent study by the University of Roehampton has found that fewer 16-year-olds in England are getting a computing qualification.

It also found that schools were cutting back on the hours spent teaching the subject.

Aspatria firm Indelible Data, as well as training its own Cyber Security apprentices, is going into local schools to try and reignite a passion for computing.

During a recent visit to Netherhall School’s World of Work speed networking event in Maryport, one of the firm's Cyber Security apprentices Jason McNicholas, showed the teenagers how criminals can hack routers, to get them thinking about counter measures.

“I literally saw their eyes light up,” said Finance and Operations Director Anna Wilson. “Some of the pupils came back for a second look and brought their friends along.

“We spoke to some very promising Cyber Security experts of the future.”

Indelible Data has also helped with the delivery of the NCSC Cyberfirst scheme. To find out more about this year’s courses aimed at 13-17 year olds, visit Cyberfirst at Energus.

Staff will also be visiting Beacon Hill School in Aspatria later this month to speak with pupils about apprenticeships and to help them practice their job interview techniques.