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UK begins cybersecurity diversity drive

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Four new projects across England to encourage more women, BAME, and neurodiverse candidates into a career in cyber security have been announced by Digital Minister Margot James.

They will each jointly benefit from a total investment of at least £500,000 as part of the next round of the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF).

The aim of the Fund is to boost not only the total number, but the diversity of those working in the UK’s cyber security industry. The government says the initiative will help organisations develop and sustain projects that identify, train and place untapped talent from a range of backgrounds into cyber security roles quickly.

The projects receiving funding are:

Crucial Academy: Diversity in Cyber Security – This initiative based in Brighton looks to retrain veterans in cyber security, in particular focusing on women, neurodiverse candidates and BAME individuals.

QA: Cyber Software Academy for Women – This project running in London, Bristol, and Manchester will train and place a cohort of women into cyber development job roles within industry. An additional cohort will also be trained in Birmingham as part of the West Midlands Combined Authority Skills Deal.

Blue Screen IT: HACKED – This Plymouth based initiative will scale up an already existing programme which identifies, trains, and places individuals, including neurodiverse candidates, those with special needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds into a cyber security career.

Hacker House Ltd: Hands on Hacking, Training and Employer Portal – This project based online will develop a portal allowing for an increased number of people to be trained and then engage with employers.

The CSIIF pilot was launched in February 2018 and was open to initiatives delivered in England. The Fund is one of a range of initiatives designed in support of the National Cyber Security Strategy’s aim of developing a sustainable supply of home-grown cyber security talent in the UK.

Digital Minister Margot James said: “Our cyber security industry is thriving but to support this growing success we need a skilled and diverse workforce to match. These latest projects show that whatever your background, ethnicity or sex, there are opportunities to join the cyber security profession. We want to demonstrate that you can have a dynamic and exciting career in a sector that sits at the heart of our economy, and is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”