We are thrilled to launch The Hacking Lab, the first ethical hacking and Cyber Security challenge centre in the West Midlands.

Open to school and college students aged between 16-19, The Hacking Lab is designed to help young coders develop cyber security skills and work towards a career in the tech industry. In partnership with West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime Unit, the Hacking Lab will also provide interventions for young people who could otherwise be drawn into cyber-crime.

The Hacking Lab is free for schools, colleges and community organisations in the West Midlands Combined Authority area and will help diverse groups develop an interest in technology while offering a space where teenagers from all backgrounds can thrive.

Due to the pandemic The Hacking Lab can be accessed as a pack for teachers to set as either a classroom based task or home learning. Sessions are pre recorded and easy to follow. 

Benefits for Senior School Leaders:
 Transition from school to further education and industry, intervention pathway.

Benefits for Teachers: Free resources, time saving in lesson planning, ideal for PHSE.

Benefits for Students: Learn at their own pace, challenging topics and activities, the Hacking Lab is a great place to learn about cyber security, and gain critical skills.

The Hacking Lab supports:

  • 16-19-year-old student’s coding journey
  • the school’s computer science curriculum
  • the PSHE Ofsted requirement
  • increasing awareness of cyber security and the opportunities it can bring.


Janice Rae, CEO and Founder of TechTalent Academy says “we strongly believe The Hacking Lab will help young people in the West Midlands to realise their potential, overcome perceived barriers and access opportunities in further education and industry”.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Improving digital skills for businesses and people across the West Midlands is a vital part of our plan for economic recovery – especially given the impact of the coronavirus on so many businesses. That is why it is vital that businesses have people with the skills to protect them from cyber-crime – which costs the UK billions of pounds every year.

“Despite the challenges our economy faces, there is still high demand for skilled jobs in technology, so this Hacking Lab, supported with funding from the WMCA, is a great, creative way of inspiring young people and adults to start a career in tech, whilst giving them the skills they need to protect themselves and their business.”

Cllr George Duggins, leader of Coventry City Council and WMCA portfolio holder for jobs and skills, said: “Technology is the ‘golden thread’ across many of our key industries. It’s great that the WMCA is enabling young people and adults to learn new digital skills through innovative training programmes, such as the Hacking Lab.”

David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Some of the biggest threats we now face are cyber related. Hostile cyber-attacks are classed in the most serious security risk category, alongside terrorism.

“If we train more people to deal with cyber-attacks, whether it is against them personally or their businesses, we can help reduce the number of victims.

“The interventions we make with young people, at risk of becoming involved in cyber-crime, are vital. This new Hacking Lab will give young people the skills needed to help us tackle cyber threats in the years to come.”

We are grateful to the WMCA and our industry partners for investing in The Hacking Lab to help build and sustain the project, and ultimately helping the next generation of coders fill the skills gap in core cyber roles.

Immersive Labs are excited to help power The Hacking Lab & Tech Talent Academy, to equip and identify the next generation of cyber security talent and improve access to Cyber opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.” – James Reynolds, Immersive Labs

Our ambition is to develop The Hacking Lab into a national resource to offer a route to employment for under-represented young people and adults.

To register your interest in The Hacking Lab, please email thehackinglab@techtalent.academy