Cybersecurity apprenticeships help UK companies fill the skills gap

Organisations large and small can find untapped, undeveloped cybersecurity talent through apprenticeship programs. Here's how some succeeded.

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Apprenticeships allow organisations to recruit entry-level talent that they can train to fit the needs of the business and give the trainee a broad set of security skills.

Well-established in fields such as plumbing or carpentry, apprenticeships are becoming popular in technology: 72% of respondents in the 2019 UK CIO100 survey stated they were running IT apprenticeships schemes, up from 65% the previous year. ”Building the UK’s own talent base is a must and apprenticeships are at the heart of that,” TechUK’s deputy CEO Antony Walker said last year.

However, starting an apprenticeship programme isn’t a quick recruitment fix or simple to set up. It requires the CISO to assess the current capabilities of the security team, dedicate time to new recruits, and work with the wider business and outside partners.

When to consider cybersecurity apprenticeships

“Cybersecurity teams need to be constantly replenished as demand increases and high salaries tempt many to look elsewhere,” says Richard Cornell, digital end-point assessor at BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT. “Developing and growing that talent from within creates a more stable environment with a cohesive culture that you can mould. Running your own apprenticeship scheme will bring in new talent that understands new technology and has a fresh way at looking at things with enthusiasm and a keenness to learn, in the most cost-effective way.”

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