The UK's Cyber Security Challenge has announced a new national code-breaking challenge for secondary school students, starting in September, with a top prize of £1,000 (h/t Computer Weekly).

The aim, according to an announcement, is "to identify and hone the talents of UK students to address a growing skills gap in the UK's cyber defenses."

Teams of students will be challenged to break coded messages designed by industry experts, and to develop their own coded messages for other schools to crack. At the end of the tournament, the top-scoring teams will be invited to a face-to-face final battle in early 2014 to choose the first-ever Cyber Security Challenge Schools Champion.

The winning team will win a £1,000 cash prize for their school, donated by the AFCEA Academic Trust.

"This latest initiative to attract introduce children in secondary education to cyber security is an excellent way of bringing talent into this area, helping young people to discover why cyber security matters and inspiring them to take up the profession," MP Chloe Smith said in a statement. "It will enable us to establish a pipeline of talented people to populate the UK cyber security job pool of the future."