A world leader in protecting critical infrastructure from cyber threats, Tekgem (UK) Limited will open the UK’s first industrial cyber security apprenticeship academy this year. 

The academy will be based out of Tekgem’s UK head office at The North East Technology Park (NETPark) in Sedgefield and take on an initial five apprentices, and double this each year over the next five years. The three-year course will be a mixture of hands-on experience and theory in collaboration with digital training specialists Intequal.

In recent years the demand for specialist industrial cyber security services has increased dramatically and as a result Tekgem has doubled in size in the last two years alone. The cyber security experts have an excellent track record in nurturing apprentices, with former apprentices winning several industry awards and going on to graduate to become senior members of the Tekgem team. 

Tekgem founder and MD Ian Gemski explains: “Tekgem are world leaders in bridging the gap between information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), a very niche service that we provide to a variety of organisations internationally. Because we offer such a unique service, and very specialist, we’ve found it difficult to recruit experienced engineers with the right set of skills our customers demand. The Tekgem Apprenticeship Academy is designed to get the newest and brightest minds with an interest in cyber security through the door as early as possible so that we can build a world-class team of cyber security professionals to meet the growing demands for our services.”

Each apprentice will be paired with a senior engineer enabling them to benefit from a wealth of knowledge and experience. The apprenticeship will deliver both level 3 and 4 qualifications in networking, infrastructure and cyber security. Assessments will be a mix of examinations including network +, Comp TIA, Fortinet and industrial cyber security exams. Other aspects of the course include theoretical assessments with Intequal as well as a portfolio of work to demonstrate the practical experience gained on the job. 

Tekgem are hoping to attract the college leavers aged 18-24 ideally with an interest in STEM, a good understanding of maths, but most importantly an enthusiasm for cyber security and excellent communication skills.  

Liam Sharpe, Lead Cyber Security Engineer at Tekgem started his career as an apprentice 6 years ago. Liam commented: “From the very start I was determined to get the highest grade possible and make the most of the opportunities offered with an Apprenticeship. I took every exam that was available to me, including becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional as well as earning several other industry recognised certifications. Even though it was really hard work at times, the benefits and new career opportunities it has opened up, have been amazing. My career has gone from strength to strength, I’m now a senior engineer and enjoying every minute.”