UK gets new Cyber Academy and degree-level apprenticeships in cyber security

The employer-backed Cyber Academy has been launched to boost the UK’s information security skills, with efforts including degree-level cyber security apprenticeships.

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The employer-backed Cyber Academy has been launched to boost the UK’s information security skills, with efforts including degree-level cyber security apprenticeships.

Sector skills council e-skills UK has launched the new academy as part of the National Skills Academy for IT. It said the Cyber Academy will see employers working in collaboration with education and government to "inspire young people to consider careers in cyber security".

The academy will open new entry routes for young people into cyber security, including the provision of "relevant, high quality training", said e-skills UK.

Those companies involved range from fast-growing small companies in the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster to large firms such as Atos, General Dynamics, IBM, John Lewis Partnership and National Grid, as well as organisations such as CREST and the Cyber Security Challenge.

The Cyber Academy’s work will include "embedding" cyber security-related content in the school and university curriculum, organising effective interaction between employers and school students, and creating the first ever nationally available degree-level apprenticeships in cyber security.

Science minister David Willetts said: "The Cyber Academy will help develop the expertise the nation needs and keep the UK ahead in the global race. In particular, we are excited to see the development of cyber security apprenticeships."

Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, said research showed the cyber security workforce was an ageing one, with only seven percent of professionals under the age of 29.

"For the UK to retain its innovative edge in this fast-moving field we need to do more to bring new talent into the industry and continue to upskill existing staff. That’s exactly what the Cyber Academy aims to do,” she said.

Ben Farrell, head of operational risk management at John Lewis Partnership, said: "This fresh approach will help us in a variety of ways, from recruiting new staff to ensuring our existing people are aware of the latest threats and technologies."

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