It has been decided by the Digital Minister, Margot James that four new projects across England are being funded to encourage more women, BAME and neurodiverse candidates into cyber security. They will each receive a joint fund of at least £500,000 as part of the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF). The aim of the fund is to not just help boost the total number, but the number of individuals from a diverse background working in the cyber security industry. It will help support businesses to develop and sustain projects which train and place underrepresented talent into cyber security roles quickly.
The projects that are being funded are to show that no matter your background, ethnicity or sex, there are opportunities in the cyber security industry. The cyber security industry is thriving however it needs to support from a diverse workforce to support its growing success.
The projects who are receiving funding
QA: Cyber Software Academy for Women
The QA project is running in London, Bristol and Manchester and will aim to train and place women into cyber development jobs within the industry. An additional group will be trained in Birmingham as part of the West Midlands combined authority skills deal.
The managing director, Lisa Harrington of QA Learning has expressed that she is extremely excited to be awarded the funding for their initiative with women in tech jobs. Lisa also stated how it will have an immediate impact on addressing the diversity issues within cyber security and it will help to inspire the next generation of females into cyber security.
Crucial Academy: Diversity in Cyber Security
The initiative at Crucial Academy is based in Brighton and looks to retrain veterans in cyber security. It will focus on women, neurodiverse and BAME candidates to help expand diversity in the cyber industry.
Crucial Academy’s CEO, Neil Williams has explained how everyone at Crucial Academy is incredibly grateful for the support given by CSIIF. Being veterans themselves, they understand how programmes like this are vital in helping the transition into leading a normal life. The funding will help to support their continued commitment to veterans, women, neurodiverse and BAME communities.
Blue Screen IT: HACKED
Blue Screen IT are the third organisation to be funded with their initiative in Plymouth. The initiative will upscale an existing programme which identifies, trains and places individuals into cyber security careers. Those individuals will include neurodiverse, those with special needs and those from a disadvantaged background.
CEO, Michael Dieroff of Blue Screen IT has commented on the funding, explaining how proud he is to be chosen as one of the lead businesses to provide a real social impact through their Hacked Cyber Hub initiative. Their Hack Cyber Hub initiative will help to build a network of UK security operation hubs across the UK which will engage and service the local communities and businesses with cyber security services which are cost effective. The hubs created will help increase the IT employment through cyber and digital apprenticeships which over time will help to reduce the growing skills gap across all sectors.
Hacker House Ltd: Hands on Hacking, Training and Employer Portal
This online based project will develop an online portal which will allow for many people to be trained and then engage with employers.
Hack Houses CEO, Jennifer Arcuri has commented that it is fantastic to see the government making cyber skills such a priority as they play a vital role in the development to the digital economy. Jennifer is thrilled that Hack House are being included in the funding as it gives them the opportunity to continue to develop content which trains and enables candidates to retain skills needed for roles within information security.