Arco supports Ron Dearing UTC students in new mentor project to encourage next generation of cyber security experts

Ron Dearing UTC computer science students are learning more about cyber security through an employer-led project and IT equipment donation from the UK’s leading safety company.

Following an upgrade of systems across its network of safety stores, Arco, a Major Partner of the school, is donating several of its firewall units and a number of network switches to allow the students to learn using real-world technology.

In addition, two former Ron Dearing UTC students, Josh Thorpe, now Cyber Security Analyst at Arco, and James Swinburne, Apprentice Cyber Security Analyst at Arco, will deliver presentations and mentor students as part of the project.

Richard Martin, Arco Non-Executive Director and Chair of Governors at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “As one of the college’s employer partners, Arco is proud to be working with Ron Dearing on this exciting project, which will be the first of many of its type, to inspire the next generation of cyber security experts.

Left to right, Robbie Olsen, Riley Robinson, Declan Lingwood, James Swinburne and Joshua Thorpe.


“At Arco, we specialise in health and safety and many lessons carry over well to cyber security, such as the need for appropriate protection, training and compliance.

“By providing a hands-on learning experience, we aim to nurture the students’ understanding of cyber security and develop the skills required to help promote cyber security as a potential career.”

Mike Hudson, Cyber Security Manager at Arco, said: “Arco has an excellent relationship with the students and staff at Ron Dearing UTC and this project will strengthen that partnership even further.

“It’s exciting that we can involve Josh and James, as former students of Ron Dearing UTC, in this project and help demonstrate clearly how their education at Ron Dearing has supported them in starting and developing their careers at Arco.”

From left, Katie Grasby, Riley Robinson, Serghei Glinca and Declan Lingwood with Joshua Thorpe and James Swinburne.


Glenn Jensen, Senior Assistant Principal – Employer Engagement at Ron Dearing UTC, said: “This is an amazing project led by our very own alumni at Arco.

“The project will enable our computer science students to apply their skills to a real-world cyber security scenario with the guidance of industry professionals. This is another excellent example of world class employer-led learning.”