News Advisory: 24. February 2016

Hewlett Packard Enterprise brings school pupils to Westminster to show MPs their cyber skills

LONDON, UK, February 24, 2016 – Today Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) brought 40 girls from 11 different schools from across the country to Parliament to showcase their tech skills in front of their MPs. Pupils between the ages of nine and fourteen, who have participated in TechFuture Girls clubs, were welcomed to Westminster by the Secretary of State for Education, the Rt. Hon Nicky Morgan MP, to demonstrate their cyber security knowledge and skills.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the platinum sponsor of the TechFuture Girls programme for the second consecutive year. The programme is free to all schools in England and Wales and is operated by the Tech Partnership. The programme has now reached 5,000 girls in 1,000 schools across the country, and aims to reach 2,000 schools by the end of this academic year.

Experts from HPE have also created for the first time one of the learning modules, called “Protect the Island’. Through games and fun challenges, the module teaches students the importance of good cybersecurity practice in business and everyday life.

The schools were hosted today in Parliament by Siobhain McDonagh, MP for Mitcham and Morden, and the pupils saw more than 45 MPs in two hours. The Rt. Hon. Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Education lent her support by talking to the students and presenting them all with a certificate to celebrate their achievement. Speaking at the event she noted: “No subject or career should be off limits because of someone’s gender, race or background. Initiatives like this help to showcase the exciting opportunities which technology can offer young girls today and I hope to see even more schools taking part. We have also created an exciting, new curriculum to equip young people with the skills and knowledge they need and I want to see more girls considering careers in sectors traditionally dominated by men, including in STEM, so that every single child can fulfil their potential.”

Responding to her comments, Jacqui Ferguson, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Enterprise Services for UK and Ireland at HPE, said: “As a woman who has made her career in technology, I’m delighted that so many students have had an opportunity to participate in a TechFuture Girls club since our sponsorship began in 2014. Hewlett Packard Enterprise wants to play its part in closing the digital skills gap. The UK’s economic success will increasingly depend on the digital fluency of all of our citizens so it’s vitally important that no group feels excluded from the range of careers that the technology industry offers.”

“I’m really pleased that so many MPs were able to learn from these tech savvy girls, and we hope that their experience will inspire them to talk to the schools in their constituencies and to encourage them to be TechFuture schools,” said Karen Price, CEO of Tech Partnership.

Suzanne D’Alton, Headteacher at Redgate Primary School in Liverpool, commented: “Coming to Westminster has been a fantastic opportunity for our school. The students who attended were thrilled to see that MPs are interested in what they are learning and were fascinated to visit the Houses of Parliament.”

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