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How the apprenticeship levy can help improve your cyber security

schedule 12th April 2019 by Melanie Thompson in Virtual College Last updated on 12th April 2019

Apprenticeship Levy Cyber skills

Why is Cyber Security so important?

Cyber security is a real threat to modern day businesses, as seen with the recent attacks on Facebook, British Airways, FIFA and UBER. Business leaders need to budget for cyber security strategies that protect the business and plug the cyber skills gap.

The UK has a serious skills shortage when it comes to cyber security, and the chasm between supply and demand for expertise is widening at an alarming rate.

Parliament's Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy's 2018 report concluded that the shortage of specialist skills and "deep technical expertise" was one of the "greatest challenges faced by the UK.

What can businesses do?

As cyber security breaches are an ever increasing threat, training budgets within businesses should be assigned so that this always vulnerable and costly area of the business is safeguarded.

With most employees now able to access connected devices and sensitive data, it’s essential the workforce is not only competent, but confident, in basic cyber security skills, like changing passwords and not opening suspicious looking emails.

In addition to this, businesses need to hire and train professionals who understand cyber attacks, so they can react quickly in the event of a breach, and importantly, implement solutions to prevent a breach in the first instance.

How can apprenticeships help to fill this gap?

It follows that the most practical way to close this pervasive cyber security skills gap is by increasing the number of cybersecurity apprenticeships available to existing employees, graduates and those who want to move into the industry from another career. There needs to be a real drive focused on recruiting, training and most importantly retaining home grown UK Cyber talent.

Why are apprenticeships so important?

Apprenticeships in general are one of the best ways to enter into a career. Not only do apprentices get to learn their trade by doing the job day in and out, they also get paid while they learn.

Those who undertake apprenticeships either as a new recruit into a business or as an existing member of staff looking for development within cyber security, have the advantage of applying the skills they learn there and then, rather than waiting three or more years to put what they’ve learned at university into practice.

Increasing cyber security apprenticeships will instantly boost the number of people in the UK who have direct experience in the industry – removing one of the biggest barriers to entry and will enable UK businesses to tap in to the extensive under utilised talent pool.

Want to find out more?

If you would like to find out more about our cyber security apprenticeship programme and how you can utilise your apprenticeship levy pot to increase your business cyber security, get in touch for an informal discussion. Our team will work to understand the challenges you face and help you take that important step to further safeguard your business whilst contributing to reducing the cyber security skills gap within the UK.

t: 01325 328827


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Melanie Thompson Author

Author: Melanie Thompson

Melanie leads the apprenticeship division for Virtual College and prides herself on operating a high-quality provision. She has a wide range of qualifications, including a degree in Education, and keeps up-to-date with educational reforms. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and three daughters.

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