Thousans of students to receive free training to build cyber skills, Vecara comments
August 2023 by Michael Smith, CTO at Vercara
Today, the government has urged teachers across the UK to sign up and access free resources to help secondary school children build skills and consider a career in cyber. More than 50,000 students from 2,000 schools around the country have already been signed up to Cyber Explorers, a free learning platform provided by the UK government that introduces 11-14 year-olds to important cyber security concepts, supporting learning objectives for Key Stage 2 and 3.
Michael Smith, CTO at Vercara welcomes this news:
“Cyber skills are in huge demand across the economy. A report on cyber security skills in the UK labour market published last year found that around half of all businesses had a basic cyber skills gap, with most new candidates lacking the technical skills required for their roles. All this data goes some way to highlighting the scale of the challenge ahead for the cybersecurity sector. New industry and government-led initiatives such as this one can attract more young people to the cybersecurity field, but a long-term solution to the skills gap requires a more holistic approach. It needs to be more than a recruitment plan, a practical long-term cybersecurity strategy.
“The cybersecurity skills gap has been a persistent trend for some time, but it doesn’t need to be one that defines the industry for the coming years. The only way to fix this is to embrace change, not just persist with the same approaches we have in the past. We must rethink the cybersecurity talent pipeline and adopt more robust strategies for future skills development. The government and industry must continue to work together to deliver a long-term plan that addresses the UK’s talent gap from all sides. It will need to be a collective effort; everyone has a part to play.
“Moving forwards, enterprises will need to be more creative and hands-on in finding and attracting talent, perhaps even sourcing talent from parallel fields – candidates with experience in related tech and IT practices with transferrable skills and an eagerness to learn. There are also a lot of programmes out there which are designed to pull in talent from unconventional places, particularly those looking for a change mid-career. In the meantime, schools should continue to make use of these government-led programmes so they can nurture a more sustainable talent pipeline from within and encourage young people to pursue a career in cyber.”