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BIS announce initiatives aimed at closing the widening cyber security skills gap

techUK welcomes the education of the next cyber generation

As business increasingly relies on digital technology to function, and awareness of cyber incidents continues to increase, demand for cyber security skills is far outstripping supply. In light of this, BIS announced last week a number of cyber security skills initiatives, linked to broadening entry routes to the cyber security profession, and embedding cyber security in digital qualifications.

Key announcements from the Cabinet Office and BIS, in conjunction with delivery partners, include:

  • 50 new cyber security apprentices in Government (as part of broader industry take-up of new cyber security apprenticeships);
  • A new cyber security strand in the Government's digital faststream;
  • Cyber security to be included in all level 3 and 4 digital vocational qualifications;
  • A new guide to cyber security education resources for schools and FE colleges;
  • A new curriculum framework to help universities understand and meet requirements for cyber security to be included in computer science undergraduate degrees accredited by the IET and BCS;
  • A new cyber security option within the National Citizenship Service for 15-17 year olds.

The new computing curriculum

The new computing curriculum aims to equip children and young people with the skills they need to participate effectively in the digital world. Cyber security is deemed an essential prerequisite, which is why it will be an important component of the new computer science GCSE and also of level 3 and 4 digital vocational qualifications. The Government is also funding innovative teaching resources and education programmes to help schools and FE colleges engage pupils in the issue. These are free of charge, and range from lesson plans and teaching materials to competitions and expert speakers. You can find more information in a new leaflet, available to download here.

techUK is wholly supportive of measures taken to educate the new cyber generation. In giving evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee on Digital Skills, Deputy CEO Antony Walker welcomed the new Computing Curriculum and highlighted the need for additional investment to ensure teachers have the knowledge, time and resources to accommodate the change. Additionally, techUK members have also raised the shortage of cyber security specialists to the Government's advisory body on migration.

If you would like to find out more about techUK's work in this area, specifically the Skills, Talent and Migration Group. Please contact Laura Weidinger:


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