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Government launches free training programme to tackle UK’s cyber security skills shortage

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Lack of cyber security knowledge cited as biggest barrier against attracting new talent

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology has partnered with The SANS Institute, the world’s largest provider of cyber security training, to launch Upskill in Cyber a free training programme aimed at tackling the skills shortage in cyber security.

So far, the programme has trained over 200 students from non-cyber backgrounds. The programme, lasting 14 weeks, offers candidates world-class training and support, helping them gain first-hand access to industry professionals to better understand rising threats, roles, and responsibilities. Many have gone on to secure guaranteed job interviews upon successful completion of the training programme.

Research by SANS Institute found that 44% of the UK workforce have considered a career change in the last year. However, only 6% have taken an interest in pursuing a career in cyber security – despite ranking; better pay, career advancement opportunities and flexible working as the top three benefits. This is due to a lack of understanding about the industry, roles available or the skills needed to consider pursuing a career in cyber security

Around 12.5% of the UK workforce identified the need for sector-specific qualifications as one of the main factors preventing them from pursuing a career in cyber security and 25% of career switchers rank a lack of knowledge as a significant deterrent in considering a career in the cyber security sector.

Minister for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Viscount Camrose, said: “The UK is rapidly establishing itself as a world leader in cyber security, and ensuring people have the skills they need to access jobs in the industry is key to cementing and expanding that reputation. The Upskill in Cyber programme lets us do exactly that – removing knowledge and skills barriers for aspiring cyber security professionals, and supporting them into the exciting new careers which fuel innovation, drive growth and protect our economy.”

Stephen Jones, Managing Director of SANS Institute added, “We have found that certain businesses lack the incident response and governance cyber security skills needed to face up to the realities of a challenging threat landscape. Our training programme helps to eradicate these skills gaps, breaking down barriers to facilitate the transition into a career in cyber.”

More information can be found at: https://www.sans.org/mlp/upskillcyber/

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