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Western Morning News Business Award 2019 Apprenticeship Development winner

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

BluescreenIT joined over 400 business people at the glittering event , which also celebrated 160 years of the Western Morning News, with editors past and present attending the ceremony. A truly special night for the company, as it was our first regional business award of the year and we up and against some tough competitors to come out on top.

Our winning entry for Apprenticeship Development Award

Bluescreen IT Ltd established in January 2004 with three people and now currently employs 14. In 2017, Bluescreen IT opened up the first Cyber Security Community Security Operation Centre in the UK, employing and training cyber apprentices in order to build the local skills pool in information security specialists to tackle rising levels of cybercrime. The programme has employed over 10 apprentices from hard to reach backgrounds as well as providing opportunities for neurodiverse individuals to become a cyber experts. More recently in the last two years, the company has worked with National Crime Agency to help rehabilitate non-convicted hackers though the apprenticeship programme that has given the opportunity for them to use their specialist talents to morally protect others.

Highly commended: Rittal-CSM

Also nominated for the Apprenticeship Development Award:




read full press story here

CEO of BluescreenIT, Mike Direoff said: “We truly believe we needed to look at alternative routes to attract new talent into the commercial world of cyber security, as there is such a big skills shortage. After two years of hard work we are now seeing individuals flourish in their roles within our company. It has been a great opportunity to discover local talent hidden away from the normal sources of recruitment and it is those that are helping us grow our Community Security Operations Centre here in Plymouth”.

“We originally started the concept as a ‘Pop Up’ Security Operations Centre in 2016. In three years we have grown into a fully operational SOC on the science park. It is a proud moment in the company’s history to win such a prestigious regional award alongside gaining the recognition for the huge amount of effort that everyone involved in it contributed to make it work ”

Bluescreen IT took an active stance on choosing apprentices from hard to reach backgrounds including rehabilitating ex-hackers and selecting talented neuro-diverse individuals. The company also supported the resettlement of MoD personnel transitioning into civilian life, upskilling those changing careers and giving candidates who have a passion for technology an opportunity to work in an industry they love.

Not only did the company pursue a different selection criteria, they also encouraged their apprentices to go beyond selecting the standard BCS apprenticeship certifications and take up the offer to undertake leading industry certifications like CompTIA’s A+, Network+, Security+ or CySA+ and ITIL Service Management to excel in their learning. This would provide the necessary skills to further their careers in the commercial world.

Success stories include apprentices progressing within the company into more senior roles and some candidates moving onto Cyber Security roles within other organisations in the South West and beyond. BluescreenIT also featured in a BBC news article that streamed over 1.5 million views, emphasising the work the company is doing within cyber security community in the region.

In addition to the internal apprenticeship programme, the company continue to be proud supporters of CompTIA's #CertifiedApprentice campaign, which encourages employers to invest into industry qualifications beyond just choosing the standard modules to improve their apprentices skill range. They also continue to play an active role within the local Digital Skills Partnership to improve the regions digital skills that are available locally.

If you would like to know more about upskilling your IT and Cyber team or want to know how the cyber security operation centre can help you improve your security, please give BluescreenIT a call on 01752 724000

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