Accessibility Links

Teens set to receive cyber security training to plug skills gap

16 / 08 / 2017
Teens set to receive cyber security training to plug skills gap...Skills shortages have been a common topic in the cybersecurity world over the last few years.

We recently covered the issue in depth on our blog, and Barclay Simpson's latest research revealed that 81 per cent of security professionals believe their skills have become more valuable. This is a significant rise on the 67 per cent who said the same last year.

The UK government appears to be taking note. Last month, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced a new Cyber Schools Programme aimed at reducing the skills shortages of tomorrow. 

How will the scheme work?

The £20 million initiative, which launches this autumn, will teach 6,000 teenagers the capabilities they need to succeed in the cybersecurity sector. 

"Our Cyber Schools Programme aims to inspire the talent of tomorrow and give thousands of the brightest young minds the chance to learn cutting-edge cybersecurity skills alongside their secondary school studies," said minister of state for digital Matt Hancock. 

"I encourage all those with the aptitude, enthusiasm and passion for a cybersecurity career to register for what will be a challenging and rewarding scheme."

Students who participate will undertake a mixed curriculum to enhance their abilities, which will include instructor-led classes, online teaching with real-world challenges, online games and hands-on experience. 

The government hopes that 5,700 teenagers will be completely trained within the next four years. Interested applicants must be between 14 and 18 and can join the course at any time, provided they meet the necessary criteria. 

SANS, FutureLearn, Cyber Security Challenge UK and BT have been named as delivery partners for the initiative. 

Cybersecurity high on the agenda

It's not just teenagers who are receiving government funding to help fill the cybersecurity skills gap. 

The DCMS also confirmed that £500,000 worth of bursaries is now available to support adults who wish to retrain into cybersecurity roles.

The money will help individuals gain industry capabilities through a Government Communications Headquarters-accredited Master's degree.  

Both this and the Cyber Schools Programme are part of the government's wider National Cyber Security Programme, which aims to identify and fast-track experts to tackle future challenges. 

The Cyber Security Apprenticeships for Critical Sectors Scheme, for example, will help firms in the telecoms, energy, broadcasting and other sectors train and develop tomorrow's professionals. 

A CyberFirst bursary-funding venture is also underway, enabling 1,000 students to access grants worth up to £4,000 in order to study a relevant degree, complete a placement or attend a summer school in the security sector. 

Cybersecurity recruitment in 2017

Clearly, the government is keen to close skills gaps that have opened up across cybersecurity roles in recent years. 

In the meantime, confidence is high among well-qualified candidates, with our research showing that few employees are out of work and job security is high. 

Nevertheless, professionals are ambitious and just 56 per cent believe they are adequately compensated for their work. This means employers may still be able to encourage staff to switch companies with the right remuneration package and career development opportunities. 

Would you like to discuss current roles within the cybersecurity sector? Please contact one of our consultants today. 

Our 2017 Compensation and Market Trends Report combines our review of the prevailing conditions in the security & resilience recruitment market together with the results of our latest employer survey.

Image: AntonioGuillem via iStockADNFCR-1684-ID-801839009-ADNFCR