Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered on 3 April 2023.

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Photo of David Warburton David Warburton Conservative, Somerton and Frome

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps she is taking to reduce the cyber skills gap.

Photo of George Freeman George Freeman Minister of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) commissions an annual survey on the need for cyber security skills across the UK labour market, which suggests an annual shortfall of around 14,000 professionals.

As part of the government's £2.6 billion National Cyber Strategy, DSIT committed to significantly increase the number of people who have the skills they need to enter the cyber workforce. This requires the clarification of pathways into and through a cyber career and getting more people interested in cyber at a young age. In order to create and publicise clear routes into a cyber career DCMS funded the creation of a professional body for cyber, the UK Cyber Security Council, to create professional standards and pathways that will inform employer recruitment and an individual's career development. We deliver extracurricular youth programmes to inspire and develop future talent, including the DSIT ‘Cyber Explorers’ platform targeted at 11-14 year olds. This complements the National Cyber Security Centre ‘CyberFirst’ competitions and degree bursaries. For those already in the workforce, free cyber skills bootcamps are offered through the Department for Education ‘Skills for Life’ scheme and the DSIT ‘Upskill in Cyber’ programme.

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