IET builds alliance to address UK's cyber security skills gap
07 June 2013
A new scheme has been launched to encourage individuals to acquire the cyber security skills needed to help protect UK commerce and infrastructure.
In what is believed to be an industry first, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has built an alliance with four other leading IT bodies, to create a Sponsorship Scheme which will facilitate the granting of substantial bursaries for those studying Masters-level degrees in cyber security.
The aim is to equip students with skills that they can apply in their current job, or to give them the opportunity to develop a career in a cyber security role.
The scheme is being launched through existing MSc courses at De Montfort University, Lancaster University, Plymouth University and University of Warwick. There are plans to expand further in future years.
Hugh Boyes, the IET’s cyber security expert, said: “We surveyed 250 SMEs working in engineering and technology sectors and the results showed that a significant lack of skilled workers was hampering the UK's fight against cyber-crime.
“As a result, and in support of the government’s Cyber Security Strategy, we have formed the Alliance, bringing together relevant expert organisations. Our objectives are to ensure that there is a clear career path for cyber security professionals, as well as a flow of high calibre professionals adequate to meet the UK’s strategic needs.
“Cyber security threats affect both major UK employers and their supply chains. In developing this scheme we are encouraging major employers to use it to develop the skills both amongst their own staff and those employed in their supply chain. This will increase the ability of industry and commerce to address these threats.”
A crucial part of the Cyber Security Alliance is the bringing together of students, employers and course providers, which will be enhanced with a series of CPD (continuing professional development) activities. The scheme will also promote the sharing of the latest cyber security research to students, graduates and sponsors.
In its 2011 UK Cyber Security Strategy, the government identified the problem of maintaining an adequate supply of relevant skills and declared its intention to reverse the shortage so that the UK retains its leading position.
The IET launched the Cyber Security Skills Alliance with the BCS - The Chartered Institute for IT, The Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP), e-skills UK and the Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC) with the aim of supporting the government in achieving this goal.
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