Matt Warman, MP, Cyber Security Minister at Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, tells us about the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund and how it is quickly increasing the number and diversity of individuals entering the cyber security profession
The UK tech sector is one of this country’s success stories and continues to go from strength to strength. As our economy depends more and more on digital technology and connectivity, we are stepping up our approach to cyber security to meet the demands of the present and plan for the future.
Almost every day, there are new reports of cyber-attacks and data breaches and the threat is on a global scale. That’s why we need a skilled and diverse workforce to match the challenge ahead. Our Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF) is an example of an initiative we expect to make a real diﬀerence going forward, quickly increasing the number and diversity of individuals entering the cyber security profession. We recently launched the third round of funding. Training providers will be able to bid for up to £100,000 to work with employers and design training programmes which retrain a diverse range of people for careers in cyber security.
The Fund has already helped over 400 people beneﬁt from training opportunities, with twelve training initiatives receiving support so far. One example is the ‘Cyber Ready’ project sponsored in the ﬁrst round. This project run by CompTIA identiﬁed and helped thirty individuals in London and the North West of England on the road towards a recognised industry qualiﬁcation. Graduates from the programme now have jobs in cyber security roles in organisations including Lloyds Banking, Amazon and the NHS.
The Fund is designed to stimulate the cyber security retraining system so that the industry can see this type of initiative is a valuable pipeline for developing and ﬁnding talent. In the future, we hope that successful initiatives will help to grow the UK’s network of training providers working to help meet the immediate need for cyber security skills. CSIIF is just one of the ways government intervention is inspiring the next generation of cyber security talent through its ‘Cyber First’ initiatives. Other programmes and competitions, including Cyber Discovery and our range of Cyber First courses, are also encouraging young people to explore a career in the industry.
Through our National Cyber Security Strategy, we are investing £1.9 billion to help millions of people and organisations become more secure. We recently announced that the Institute of Engineering and Technology will be the lead for the new UK Cyber Security Council, which will help to make cyber security a well-structured and easy to navigate profession.
All of these measures will help to ensure we have skilled people from a range of backgrounds represented across the profession, increasing our resilience for the future.
Our digital economy is an absolute priority. We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a business and good cyber security and the workforce to match will enable companies to seize the many opportunities of a connected world.