Concerns grow over cyber security skills gap

27 November 2018

How many people actually think that they might receive a cyber-attack? Findings by KMPG found that only 39% of UK CEOs believe they will be targeted by a cyber attack. However, 92% of EU businesses have experienced a cyber attack in the last 5 years (KPMG 2017/18).

The UK has one of the most vibrant digital economies in the world; however, there is not currently a cyber security skills base to match. Both the Government and private sector are affected by shortage in skills, and there is a need to nurture an aptitude for jobs that require moderately specialist skills, as well as jobs that require deep technical expertise (Cyber Security Skills and the UKs Critical Infrastructure July 2018).

In July this year, Parliaments Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy published a report that exposed the UK’s chronic lack of digital skills, even within some of its own security agencies.

"During our ongoing inquiry into the cyber security of the UK's critical national infrastructure (CNI), we heard that although the UK has one of the most vibrant digital economies in the world, there is not currently the cyber security skills base to match, with both the Government and private sector affected by the shortage in skills"

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT has also expressed concern for the lack of digital skills in the UK, emphasising the need to nurture new talent to fill the skills gap in the sector. Analysis of figures released by UCAS in August showed a significant decline in the number of students pursuing STEM related subjects at university.

Inspiring the next generation is vital, and there are a number of initiatives set to inspire and engage young people, including Cyber First and Cyber Challenge, introduced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS). However, there will be a time lag before newly inspired young people can join the workforce, therefore re-training and upskilling existing staff is imperative.  

BCS proposed fostering more “apprenticeships in cyber security, which as well as providing an extremely worthwhile career, are also well-paid, with salary expectations typically 15% above the industry standard".

GC is partnered with BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT to offer digital apprenticeships, which are designed by employers for employers, which include relevant, work, based projects and in college knowledge modules with industry certifications. We offer a range of digital apprenticeships including Software Developer Technician, Software Developer, Software Tester, Infrastructure Technician, Network Engineer and Cyber Security Technologist.

Click here for more information on professional IT and Cyber apprenticeships at GC, and arrange your free consultation with the GC Business Hub today.

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