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Advanced Cyber Security Academy


As the use of technology and connected devices increasingly touch our lives, businesses have become more digitised. We have become more dependent on digital processes and data. And that’s why we need cyber security. In an era where we share more information and transact digitally more often, we need to feel confident this is secure and that our information is not lost or compromised.

Cyber security plays a vital role in protecting people, companies and customers against even the most determined and inventive cyber criminals. Northern Ireland is the number one location in the world for cyber security investment therefore we need to ensure we have an upskilled workforce to deliver on this investment.

This is a unique opportunity supported by the Department for the Economy to gain unrivalled, best-in-class, specialist cyber security training through a 19 week training programme designed to prepare participants with the skills and experience required to work, and be successful within PwC or Black Duck Software. Both organisations have massive growth plans, leading to opportunities to progress whilst developing technical expertise, and working with local, national and global clients.

The Academy has two training and recruitment paths, one for each of the two participating companies. Applicants have the option to apply for either the PwC training and recruitment path, the Black Duck training and recruitment path or both companies’ training and recruitment paths. Successful applicants will only be offered a place on one of the company training and recruitment paths even if they have applied for both. The company that a successful candidate is allocated to will be decided by the Academy recruitment panel and this decision will be final.


  • Complete the online application form by 12.00 noon on Friday 7th July 2017.
  • After you have completed the online application, you will be emailed a login name and password for an online aptitude test, which you are required to complete before 4.00pm on Friday 7th July 2017.
  • An information session will be held on the evening of Monday 26th June 2017.
  • Verification and technical tests will be held on Wednesday 19th July and Thursday 20th July 2017.
  • Interviews will be held on Wednesday 26th, Thursday 27th and Friday 28th July 2017.
  • All candidates will be notified of the outcome of the interviews week commencing 31st July 2017.
  • Successful candidates will start the programme on Monday 14th August 2017 at Belfast Metropolitan College e3 campus.
  • The training comprises of nineteen weeks full-time classroom based learning.
  • Participants who successfully complete the training will be guaranteed an interview with either PwC or Black Duck Software.
  • All correspondence will be via email, it is applicant’s responsibility to act as required within the given time frame.

About PwC and Black Duck

PwC has an increasing need for employees with cyber security skills to satisfy the growing demand from their clients for this specialist support. They also wish to create a centre of excellence in Belfast which will create the PwC Belfast National Cyber business as the main global delivery point for cyber intelligence in cyber risk, security analytics built and delivered in Belfast. The company wishes to be recognised as a high level hub along with Atlanta and India. Other regions such as Luxembourg are all keen to deliver this service within their region. In order to enable this vision to become reality, the company require people with the correct skills, at the right level and wish to build on this potential Academy experience with fresh curriculum.

Black Duck are a FDI company from Massachusetts who opened a new office in Belfast to focus on cutting-edge open source security research as well as the company’s full range of open source security and management products, and professional services. They have a particular need for cyber security skills in order to expand their team in Belfast. Both companies are prepared to work together to develop and tailor this potential Academy to meet their combined specific needs.

Further Information

For further information please email your enquiry to assuredskills@economy-ni.gov.uk
Successful applicants claiming Job Seekers Allowance can contact their local Jobs and Benefits office to have a ‘Better off Calculation’ carried out before proceeding with the programme. Applications are welcome from those who meet the criteria irrespective of religious belief, political opinion, age, sexual orientation, disability, race, marital status, gender, whether or not they have dependents and women returning to the workforce.


Anyone currently participating on an existing Department for the Economy Assured Skills Academy is not eligible to apply.

  • All applicants must be at least 18 years old on or before 7th July 2017.
  • All applicants must have demonstrable experience in one or more of the following areas:
    • Cyber Security, Networking, Software Engineering, IT Support, Data Analytics, Application Security.
    • OR
    • 2 A Levels @ Grades A-C, or equivalent and GCSE English Language and Mathematics (Grade C minimum), or equivalent
  • The first stage of the selection process is an online application and aptitude test. Following a review of the application and test scores successful candidates will be invited to a further verification and technical test in Stranmillis College Belfast.
  • If successful candidates will then be invited to an interview with a joint Black Duck Software and PwC interview panel.
  • For the duration of the programme participants will be paid £150 training allowance per week and travel expenses. Classes will run daily from Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm. Applicants should ensure they will be available to attend at these times. There is no provision to take the course at night.

  • Please Note: All correspondence will be via email, it is the applicant’s responsibility to act as required within the given time frame.

Mindmill Psychometrics

What are psychometrics?

Psychometrics are assessments which measure individual differences in many areas including personality, motivation, aptitude and abilities.

Why are psychometrics used?

​Psychometric assessments are a common part of the selection process and enable organisations to better understand candidates and determine if they have the skills for the job.

How can I ensure I obtain the best results?

For best results, Mindmill recommend the assessments are completed in a test-like environment. Any possible distractions should be turned off, for example mobile phones, TV, music. Concentration is needed throughout the assessments, so if you are completing it at home or work, ensure other people are aware they should not disturb you until you are finished.

Do I get my results?

Candidates will not receive their individual results on the assessments. All candidates will be informed if they have met the criteria or failed to meet the criteria by a standardised email only.

Can I complete practice assessments?

Candidates can review the practice test booklet on this website. Candidates can look through the relevant assessments on the practice booklet to familiarise themselves with the type of questions they will be asked on the day of testing. During the actual test, candidates will also be given practice questions before each assessment to ensure they understand the questions before beginning the timed assessment.

Can individuals cheat on the assessments?

No. The Mindmill Cognitive Assessments have been developed by item generation theory which indicates new questions can appear for every test. There are no right or wrong answers in personality questionnaires. Mindmill Personality questionnaire has inbuilt warning mechanisms to determine results which may have been distorted or faked.


I have a learning difficulty, will this affect my results?

Learning difficulties can affect individuals in different ways, therefore your performance on the assessments will be dependent on your learning difficulty and the assessments which you are required to complete. You can contact Mindmill directly to discuss any concerns you may have before completing an assessment.

I am having problems logging in with my username and password.

Please note that all usernames and passwords are case-sensitive. If you are continuing to have problems logging in please contact Mindmill directly to confirm your log in details.

Do I need an internet connection to complete the assessment?

The system is designed to generate all assessment questions at the beginning of each assessment. If your internet connection drops you can continue with the assessment provided the connection is restored before the end of the assessment. If the connection is not restored, a candidate can log back into the system at a time when there is an active connection and will have an opportunity to begin the assessments from the last fully completed assessment.


Do I have to complete the assessments all at once?

For optimum performance it is advised that all assessments should be completed in one session. This should be carried out under test conditions; a quiet environment with no interruptions. However, if a situation arises where the assessments cannot be fully completed by a candidate, they can log back into the system at another time and continue from the last fully completed assessment.

What technical requirements do I need to complete the assessments?

To complete the assessments, candidates require a computer which has an internet connection and a modern web browser installed (Internet Explorer 8 or higher, Mozilla FireFox 3 or higher, Google Chrome and Opera 10 or higher or equivalent browsers).

Helpline / Contact Details

If you have any questions or queries about the assessments please contact the Helpdesk at info@mindmill.co.uk at any time or contact the Mindmill Helpline on +44 (0)845 0755 844 between the hours of 9am and 5pm.


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