UK employers have joined forces with skills council e-skills to offer degree-level apprenticeships in cyber security.
The apprenticeships are being developed by a group of employers, including QinetiQ, BT, IBM, Cassidian, Crest and Atos, and are aimed at offering young people a chance to earn a salary while working towards qualifications in cyber security.
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Co-ordinated by the National Skills Academy for IT, the first apprentices will be starting later this year.
Paul Thorlby, technical and strategy director at QinetiQ and chair of the employer group, said: "QinetiQ is pleased to be driving this partnership with e-skills UK and other industry employers to shape development opportunities for our next generation of cyber professionals."
At present, only 7% of information security professionals are aged 29 or under.
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Bob Nowill, director of cyber and assurance at BT, said: "There are currently few structured routes for young people to enter the cyber security work sector and we are pleased to be contributing to this opportunity to proactively grow new talent which is directly aligned to the needs of industry.”
Karen Price, the chief executive of e-skills UK, said the apprenticeships will help tackle the skills shortage faced by the technology sector, “including attracting more women, who are currently under-represented”.
Ian Glover, president of the not-for-profit organisation Crest, also confirmed his organisation’s support for the security apprenticeships.
The scheme is supported by co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.