UK allocates new funding to boost diversity in cybersecurity

The UK's Digital Minister Margot James has unveiled four new projects to boost diversity in the cybersecurity industry

The UK's Digital Minister Margot James has unveiled four new projects to boost diversity in the cybersecurity industry

The UK government has announced four new projects across the country in order to boost diversity in cybersecurity. According to the press release, the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF) aims to encourage more women, BAME, and neurodiverse candidates to pursue careers in the field.

A skilled and diverse workforce

Each project in the CSIIF will equally benefit from a total investment of at least £500,000. The fund aims to “boost not only the total number, but the diversity” of those working in cybersecurity.

The initiative will also help organisations to develop and sustain valuable recruitment projects. As a result, companies will be able to identify, train, and hire untapped talent from a range of backgrounds.

Digital Minister Margot James commented on the importance of the project. “Our cyber security industry is thriving but to support this growing success we need a skilled and diverse workforce to match,” she said.

“These latest projects show that whatever your background, ethnicity or sex, there are opportunities to join the cyber security profession. We want to demonstrate that you can have a dynamic and exciting career in a sector that sits at the heart of our economy, and is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”

Developing tech talent

Approximately half of CIOs are concerned about the skills gap within their organisation, according to a 2018 poll. As a result, more firms are dedicating time and resources to enhancing digital skills and talent.

A recent report predicts that voice tech will be crucial in the enterprise, but few companies are managing to recruit talent. While the global market could reach $18.3 billion by 2023, the UK talent pool consists of just 6,000 candidates.

In addition to this, an Infosys report found that enterprise data analytics is currently hindered by a skills shortage. 47% of senior executives said that their organisations lacked  adequately skilled employees.

Last year, the UK also announced that it would dedicate up to £50 million to develop world leading artificial intelligence (AI) talent. As a result, the government hopes to boost talent and attract top global researchers in AI.

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