Announcement comes as The HALO proposals go on public display

The HALO, Kilmarnock, is to take an ambitious front line role in creating a future workforce of digitally skilled young people ready to support the impressive regeneration of the town.

The HALO’s centre of excellence for digital learning and skills development in the Ayrshire town is to host one of Scotland’s national network of Cyber Hubs and The HALO’s development team is working with the Scottish Business Resilience Centre (SBRC) to scope the facility.

The SBRC was founded to create a secure environment for Scottish businesses to flourish in and is using its resources and networks to support The HALO to shape and define its Enterprise and Innovation Hub.  It will focus on creating a future digital-ready workforce as an integral part of Scotland’s long-term economic strategy and so making the area genuinely attractive to future employers and investors.

Alongside the University of West of Scotland, other public bodies and the private sector, The HALO is developing the initiative that will advance and deliver digital and cyber education with a specific focus on retail skills.

The HALO’s Enterprise and Innovation Centre in Kilmarnock will be:

• A highly-specialised learning hub for inspiring and arming people of all ages and abilities with the knowledge and practical skills for employment in the digital world.

• An inspirational environment for entrepreneurs creating and growing new businesses.

Marie Macklin C.B.E., who is leading The HALO initiative, said:

“As a society, cyber crime represents one of the most significant threats that we face today. Through The HALO, we will recruit, train and arm a cyber town of young, digital experts who will take a front line role in keeping the area and its retailers safe. Our young people are our future and equipping them to tackle this important issue will ensure that Scotland is at the forefront of the digital growth.

“We intend to make the Hub a fulcrum of real-time learning input and engagement, from nursery and primary schools to further education institutions, businesses and community organisations. The HALO will be one of Scotland’s key cyber hubs and will play an important role, from here in Kilmarnock, in line with the Scottish Government’s cyber strategy, which feeds into the UK national anti-cyber crime efforts co-ordinated by NCSC.”

Mandy Haeburn-Little, Chief Executive of the Scottish Business Resilience Centre, said:

“The HALO vision is a truly great one, I have been very impressed by the energy and ambition of Marie and the whole HALO team. It is starting at a time when Scotland as a whole, through the Scottish Government Strategy, has been working hard to develop the cyber skills agenda and to make sure that young people have access to the digital skills they need in order to be part of the future workforce. The HALO brings unique vision, it recognises the needs of future retail in the area and also will ensure that young people in the area have the skills ready to keep that retail environment safe. It is a win win for Kilmarnock and will link to other cyber facilities that are already under way in Scotland.”

Community Consultation Event

Separately, The HALO Kilmarnock announces that members of the public are to have the opportunity to see for themselves the exciting proposals for The HALO development at a public consultation event on Thursday, 29th June.

Full details of plans for The HALO will be on display in The Partnership Room, Ayrshire College, Hill Street, Kilmarnock, between 2.00pm and 7.00pm that day.

Members of the development team will also be on hand to explain the plans further and to answer any queries. Members of the public will also be able to leave their comments at the event.

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