Crucial Academy gives ex-forces heroes cyber-security training

New company, Crucial Academy is offering free training, qualifications — and jobs to ex-forces heroes. It’s a personal mission for the team behind The Crucial Group who are nearly all ex-military themselves. Chief executive Neil Williams joined the Royal Marines in 2009 and served for eight years before leaving last year to spend more time with his family.

Neil said: “I was proud to serve my country and I wanted to give something back to the military for all the skills and experiences the Marines gave me. Now I can help other ex-servicemen.”

Crucial is based in Brighton, focusing on cyber security, a rapidly growing industry. The firm is currently backed by Naval charity The White Ensign Association.

Selected ex-servicemen and women will be trained at Crucial’s new hi-tech academy, gaining recognised qualifications. They will be placed in a job at the end, receiving continued support for two years from Crucial’s experts.

Neil continues: “There is a huge market in cyber security as every high-profile hacking shows. There’s a shortfall of 1.5million professionals worldwide predicted by 2020, so there are lots of opportunities.”

Crucial’s cyber security instructor, Ollie Spence, is another ex-Royal Marine, completing ten years of service with two tours of Afghanistan.

Ollie explains: “Like many veterans I started in security — physical security, that is, mostly conducting investigations and surveillance. Then I learned more about cyber security and decided that was the way to go.

“I had no technical experience and no university degree so I knew it would be a challenge. But one of the many things I learned in the military was determination and hard work pay off, so after countless hours of studying I qualified as a consultant.”

Head of business development Matt Roberts is also an ex-Royal Marines. spending nine years in the military. Matt says, “It’s an exciting time and great to know we can help ex-Forces begin new careers.”

Find out more at  Alternatively, call 01273 060201 or email

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