Arco supports Ron Dearing UTC students in new mentor project to encourage the next generation of cyber security experts

The UK’s leading safety company, Arco, is donating IT equipment and sharing the expertise of its colleagues as part of a new employer-led project to mentor students at Ron Dearing UTC and offer them ‘hands on’ learning in cyber security.

Katie Grasby, Riley Robinson, Serghei Glinca and Declan Lingwood with Joshua Thorpe and James Swinburne

Following an upgrade of systems across its network of safety stores, Arco will be donating several of its firewall units and a number of network switches to allow the students to learn using real-world technology.

In addition to the equipment, two Arco colleagues, Josh Thorpe, Cyber Security Analyst, and James Swinburne, Apprentice Cyber Security Analyst, both former pupils of Ron Dearing UTC, will be delivering presentations as well as mentoring students as part of the project.

Richard Martin, Arco Non-Executive Director and Chair of Governors at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “As one of the college’s employer partners, Arco is proud to be working with Ron Dearing on this exciting project, which will be the first of many of its type, to inspire the next generation of cyber security experts.

“At Arco, we specialise in health and safety and many lessons carry over well to cyber security, such as the need for appropriate protection, training and compliance.

“By providing a hands-on learning experience, we aim to nurture the students understanding of cyber security and develop the skills required to help promote cyber security as a potential career.”

Mike Hudson, Cyber Security Manager at Arco, said: “Arco has an excellent relationship with the students and staff at Ron Dearing UTC and this project will strengthen that partnership even further.

“It is exciting that we can involve Josh and James, as former students of Ron Dearing, in this project and help demonstrate clearly how their education at Ron Dearing has supported them in starting and developing their careers at Arco.”

Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “This is an amazing project led by our very own alumni at Arco.

“The project will enable our computer science students to apply their skills to a real-world cyber security scenario with the guidance of industry professionals. This is another excellent example of world class employer-led learning.”