Government delivers boost to increase diversity in nation’s cyber security industry

The third round of funding through the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF) has been launched by cyber security minister Nigel Adams. The Fund aims to increase the number and diversity of people entering the cyber security profession, with training providers able to bid for up to £100,000 to work with employers and design training programmes which retrain a diverse range of individuals for a career in cyber security.

Alongside this, Adams has also announced that, after a competitive grant competition, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has been appointed as the lead organisation in charge of designing and delivering the new UK Cyber Security Council alongside a wider alliance of cyber security professional organisations.

The UK Cyber Security Council will aim to co-ordinate the existing professional landscape and make cyber security a well-structured and easy-to-navigate profession which represents, supports and drives excellence going forward.

Adams said: “The UK is a world leader in tackling cyber attacks, but we must make sure we continue to develop the talent we need to protect the public and business online. This latest round of funding demonstrates our commitment to make sure the UK’s cyber security industry has a skilled and diverse workforce and, through our new Cyber Security Council, there are clear paths for those wishing to join the profession.”

Simon Edwards, IET’s director of governance and external engagement, added: “It’s fundamental that cyber security is seen as a nationally recognised and established profession with clear career pathways. The IET, alongside an alliance of professional cyber security organisations, will bring together credibility and knowledge across a wide range of disciplines to further strengthen the UK’s leadership position in cyber security innovation and resilience on the global stage. With cyber skills shortages already emerging at every level, we’re committed to working with the Government and the National Cyber Security Centre on delivering the rapid, yet capable development of specialist cyber skills to meet the growing needs of the industry, manage risk and secure the next generation of talent.”

Jacqueline de Rojas, president at techUK, commented: “As businesses become ever-more reliant on digital tools, the need for a skilled and professional cyber workforce in the UK has increased. Yet the Government’s National Cyber Security Skills Strategy found that more than half of all businesses and charities in the UK have a basic cyber security skills gap. Increasing diversity in the sector is one way in which we can seek to plug the growing cyber skills gap, and that’s precisely why initiatives like the Immediate Impact Fund are so important.”

de Rojas concluded: “Coupled with the creation of a new Cyber Security Council that will create clearer pathways for people entering the sector, these announcements will go a long way towards ensuring that we create and nurture our cyber professionals and continue making the UK the safest place to be online.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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