The UK is in the grip of a cyber security skills shortage, with companies needing far more cyber security professionals than there are people interested in filling those positions. This is a particular issue, especially in light of the significant number of high profile cyber security incidents that occurred in 2016.
To address this growing digital skills gap, the UK government is launching a new “cyber curriculum” to give Britain’s next generation of workers the training they need to help meet the changing needs of modern workplaces.
What is the cyber curriculum?
The new Cyber Schools Programme aims to teach children aged 14-18 the skills they need to work in the UK’s growing cyber security industry. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is investing up to £20 million into the programme and participants will be chosen based on a combination of their aptitude and motivation.
DCMS is currently seeking a provider to deliver the programme and aims to have a pilot scheme running by September 2017. The plan is then to roll the programme out nationally with the aim to have 5,700 young people enrolled by 2021.
The current proposal involves students taking 4 years to complete the full programme, studying 4 hours a week through a mixture of online and classroom-based learning. Students will also be able to take selected modules rather than the full course depending on their ability to meet relevant criteria.
It is hoped that the scheme will highlight individuals who display promise for the future of cybersecurity talent. The idea is that they can take their skills to the next level, in tandem with the rest of their secondary school education, ultimately doing more to combat future UK cybersecurity threats.
What the cyber curriculum means for your business
As the course is intended to take 4 years to complete and is unlikely to be rolled out nationally until 2018 at the earliest, the first fully qualified young workers won’t hit the jobs market until 2022. However, as students can take specific modules rather than the full course, employers should hopefully start to see an increase in skills sooner.
However, realistically the Cyber Schools Programme alone is unlikely to be enough to fill the cyber security skills gap. Companies will therefore need to take the initiative themselves, including taking on cyber security apprentices where appropriate, and encouraging existing staff to take additional digital training so businesses can upskill their existing workforce.
To fill the immediate gap, companies are also likely to have to look at recruiting from further afield and should also consider the advantages of alternative strategies, such as outsourcing their IT requirements.
Fill your cyber security skills gap with expert outsourced IT support
While the cyber curriculum will undoubtedly have a positive effect in term of encouraging a new generation of workers to embrace digital roles, it won’t help companies immediately fill their IT security vacancies. This is why an increasing number of businesses are outsourcing their cyber security and general IT support requirements.
Outsourcing allows you to take advantage of the very best, highly specialised IT talent who are entirely focused on providing a first-rate service. Not only does outsourcing allow you to instantly and scalably meet your IT requirements, it can also be much more cost-effective.
City Business Solutions are experts in outsourced cyber security and support to the legal industry. We understand the unique requirements of providing outsourced IT to law firms, including the importance of protecting both your company’s and your clients’ data.
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