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. It will help organisations develop and sustain projects that identify, train and place untapped talent from a range of backgrounds into cyber security roles quickly.
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.”
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.
Neil Williams CEO of Crucial Group said: "We at Crucial Academy are incredibly grateful for the support that the CSIIF provides. As veterans ourselves, we understand how programmes like this are invaluable in aiding the transition into civilian life. This support will help facilitate our continued commitment to veterans, women, neurodiverse and the BAME communities."
- 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.
Lisa Harrington, Managing Director QA Learning said: “We are extremely excited to be awarded this crucial funding for our collaborative initiative with Women’s Tech Jobs, the QA Cyber Academy for Women. It will have an immediate impact on beginning to address the diversity issues within the cyber security sector, and be an inspirational beacon to inspire the next generation of female cyberists.”
- 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.
Michael Dieroff, CEO of Bluescreen IT said: “BluescreenIT are extremely proud to be chosen as one of the lead organisations to deliver real social impact through our Hacked Cyber Hub initiative. The project aims to build a network of UK community Security Operations hubs across the UK, which will engage and service the local community and businesses with cost effective cyber security services. These hubs will increase the employment of IT professionals through Cyber and digital apprenticeships, reducing the growing skills gap across all sectors."
- 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.
CEO Jennifer Arcuri from Hacker House said: "Cyber skills play such a vital role in the development to the digital economy and its fantastic to see the UK government make it such a priority. The team of Hacker House are thrilled to be included in the funding of this grant as this allows us the opportunity to continue to develop content that trains and enable candidates to retain practical skills needed for roles within information security. "