Top Tech Firms Sign Up To Offer Cyber Security Apprenticeships

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

BT and IBM join e-skills UK’s bid to get youngsters excited about security

A host of top technology suppliers are backing cyber security apprenticeships being created by e-skills UK, which were announced today.

The not-for-profit claimed they will be “the first ever nationally available, degree-level apprenticeships in cyber security”. They will be run by the scheme’s partners and it’s hoped the first apprentices will be working before the end of the year.

A spokesperson told TechWeekEurope the structure and content of the apprenticeships were still being developed.

Cyber security not attracting youngsters

© Pavel Ignatov - Fotolia.comBT, IBM and QinetiQ are all supporting the apprenticeships, amongst a handful of other firms. They are all hoping to address a dearth of youth in the security industry. According to e-skills, only seven percent of information security professionals are under the age of 29.

The apprenticeships will be run by the National Skills Academy for IT, led by e-skills, and are supported by investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

“e-skills UK is working with a consortium of key employers to create the routes for young people to enter the exciting world of cyber security,” said Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK.

“These new apprenticeships will help tackle the skills shortage faced by this sector, including attracting more women, who are currently under-represented.”

Bob Nowill, director of cyber security and assurance at BT, added: “There are currently few structured routes for young people to enter the cyber security work sector and we are pleased to be contributing to this opportunity to proactively grow new talent which is directly aligned to the needs of industry.”

The scheme adds to a number of initiatives aiming to boost interest in cyber security. The Cyber Security Challenge has sought to get more youngsters on board by running regular games and offering plenty of prizes, such as internships and training.

Are you a security expert? Try our quiz!