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UK Gov Launches Round Three Of Cyber Security Skills Initiative

To help address this need, today Microsoft is launching a global skills initiative aimed at bringing more digital skills to 25 million people worldwide by the end of the year. This initiative will bring together every part of our company, combining existing and new resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft. It will be grounded in three areas of activity:

UK Gov Launches Round Three Of Cyber Security Skills Initiative

Second, the economic recovery will take place amid the longer-term and already-unfolding wave of automation based on the new technologies that underpin what some have called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Over the next five years, we estimate that the global workforce can absorb around 149 million new technology-oriented jobs. Software development accounts for the largest single share of this forecast, but roles in related fields like data analysis, cyber security, and privacy protection are also poised to grow substantially.

We are committed to sharing data and what we learn from this initiative with governments around the world. In addition, we will advocate for public policy innovations that we believe can help accelerate essential skills needs and opportunities. We plan to address three priorities:

Despite these interventions the wider skills pipeline still remains a significant challenge: of the 1.32 million businesses in the wider economy, around 50% still report a basic technical cyber security skills gap.[footnote 2] And although the UK cyber security sector has grown rapidly, most companies are startups and building large scale domestic vendors remains challenging in the face of international consolidation. As the experience with 5G has shown, the UK and our allies do not have a leading position in some key areas of the wider technology industry. Countries that are able to establish a leading role in the technologies critical to cyber power will be better positioned to influence the way they are designed and deployed, more able to protect their security and economic advantage, and quicker to exploit opportunities for breakthroughs in cyber capabilities.

We have established specialist law enforcement cyber units across the UK, and alongside this the cyber PROTECT network, Economic Crime Victims Care Unit and regional Cyber Resilience Centres. These initiatives mean that for citizens and small-to-medium-sized organisations there is someone nearby or easily contactable who has the right skills and local knowledge to provide support and guidance to improve your cyber resilience.

A commitment to keeping the UK at the cutting edge on cyber. The government will be investing 2.6 billion in cyber and legacy IT over the next three years. This is in addition to significant investment in the National Cyber Force announced in Spending Review 2020 (SR20). It includes a 114 million increase in the National Cyber Security Programme; and is alongside increases in investment also announced in research and development (R&D), intelligence, defence, innovation, infrastructure and skills, all of which will contribute in part to UK cyber power. Investment in cyber announced in SR20 and Spending Review 2021 (SR21) far exceeds the 1.9 billion over five years committed to the previous strategy.[footnote 19]

Government is better able to identify, recruit, train and retain the cyber professionals it needs. As major employers of cyber professionals, government and the public sector will need to lead by example, supporting and building on the measures outlined above. We will take a more coherent and effective approach across the public sector while also tailoring specific measures to upskill civil servants and senior leaders, and build our capability in defence and security including the NCF, the NCSC and law enforcement. This will include investment in early talent by expanding the Cyber Fast Stream and offering more cyber security apprenticeships, supporting specialist skills programmes within the NCA including graduate and intern placements, bespoke neurodiversity programmes and summer diversity programmes. It will build on the successes of the Defence Cyber School by expanding it into the Defence Cyber Academy with a broader offer of defensive and offensive cyber training, whilst collaborating with academic, industry and international partners.

Our previous strategy placed a major emphasis on growing the cyber skills base and cyber security services sector in the UK. As outlined in the strategic context we have made significant progress in growing the sector and exports:

Beyond the national level, we must equally consider the security of individuals and businesses within the digital environment. In line with our overarching ambition to keep our digital systems, platforms, devices and infrastructure secure, we are investing more than 2.6 billion over 3 years. This will ensure that the UK continues to be a leading responsible and democratic cyber power, able to protect and support our interests in and through cyberspace to achieve our national goals (as set out in the National Cyber Strategy). This includes a 114 million increase in funding for the National Cyber Programme, accompanied by enhanced funding for critical cyber skills training, infrastructure, research and development, innovation, defence, and intelligence.

Across England, employers in this sector have so far developed 26 high-quality apprenticeships in a range of occupations, including data science, cyber security, digital and technology solutions, AI, data and creative digital design. DfE has made changes to apprenticeships to make them more flexible and accessible for employers, introducing a range of flexible training models, such as front-loaded apprenticeships and accelerated apprenticeships. Accelerated apprenticeships allow progression from T levels, traineeships and Skills Bootcamps, giving young people the chance to build up sector-specific skills to build a pipeline opportunity into apprenticeships. Some of the learners who took part in the first digital Skills Bootcamps have already progressed into accelerated apprenticeships.

This initiative based in Brighton looks to retrain veterans in cyber security, in particular focusing on women, neurodiverse candidates and BAME individuals. Successful applicants will undergo training including a three week intensive cyber security courses in a state-of-the-art virtual lab environment. During the training Crucial Academy will engage with employers to place individuals into jobs. For more information please visit the website or contact or 01273 060080.

This Plymouth-based initiative will scale up an existing programme which identifies, trains and places individuals into a cyber security career. Participants include neurodiverse candidates, those with special needs and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. The training will be supported through Blue Screen IT running its own Security Operations Centre (SOC) to provide practical experience and real life exposure for candidates. For more information please contact or call 01752 724 000.

The Neurodivergent Digital Cyber Academy is designed to help neurodiverse candidates develop their cyber security skills through hands-on practical challenges. Immersive Labs have developed a browser based, practical learning environment that caters for those with a range of skills. Based on their skill level, participants will have access to apply for cyber jobs with employers who are signed up to the platform. For more information, please visit

The CompTIA Cyber Ready initiative is a six-month programme for candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds to upskill around existing work and caring requirements to become ready for a career in cyber security. Participants could potentially become certified as CompTIA Security+ and Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+) professionals. CompTIA is a non-profit, international trade association. For more information, please visit -certify/cyber-ready or contact

This initiative is a Brixton-based programme which will provide lone parents in Lambeth with practical cyber security training, with the aim of creating a thriving community of cyber security expertise in Lambeth. The Integrate Agency CIC is a social enterprise that will partner with Battersea Power Station Foundation to deliver this programme. For more information, please visit or contact

Youth Fed is piloting a Cyber Security Operations Centre (SOC) based in Salford, which aims to provide real-world work experience for young adults interested in a career in cyber security. Youth Fed is a youth charity, who will be partnering with Raytheon UK and a number of other organisations to deliver the initiative. For more information, please visit or contact

This initiative will develop an autism specific apprenticeship scheme for the cyber security industry, supporting candidates through both the cyber security training and preparation for employment. The NAS is a UK-based charity for autistic people and their families, who will deliver this training at the Anderson School and Enterprise Campus in Essex. For more information, please visit or contact

This initiative has set up a Community Cyber Security Centre in Worcester, with the aim of training neurodiverse individuals in cyber security, while developing services to protect the internet access of vulnerable members of society. The UK Cyber Security Forum is a social enterprise representing sole traders and small and medium companies (SMEs) actively working in cyber security. For more information, please visit:

Those with a real interest in how tech works could have a bright future ahead. Skills in coding, gaming, cyber security or anything digital-related, are in high demand, not just in the UK but also abroad which means that young people may have an opportunity to travel to interesting places whilst learning new cyber skills. 350c69d7ab


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