CompTIA's cybersecurity scheme targets parents and graduates

The retraining initiative is one of seven supported by the government's Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund

Tech association CompTIA has launched a new programme designed to deliver cybersecurity training to those normally unable to commit to traditional courses, such as parents or full-time carers.

The Cyber Ready programme, funded through the government's Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF), offers a six-month course that aims to help those who want to return to an IT role, or those who have yet to secure work in the burgeoning cybersecurity industry, an effort aimed squarely at addressing the widening skills gap UK businesses are facing.

The scheme targets those with some experience of the IT industry who are looking to develop their skills, such as those who have spent time away from work, or graduates who haven't yet landed a job.

Parents, graduates, carers and those who would otherwise be unable to attend full-time classes are encouraged to sign up to the scheme, which will be delivered mostly online, aside from six Saturday workshops that candidates can choose to attend either in the north or south of England.

CompTIA was one of seven organisations to received funding as part of the National Cyber Security Programme, although this number is expected to increase when the government expands the scheme in late 2018.

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"It is a fantastic achievement to have been selected by the National Cyber Security Programme to contribute towards the growing cyber security training ecosystem in the UK," said Graham Hunter, VP of certifications at CompTIA.

"Cyber Ready will provide candidates with the necessary training to deal with real-world cybersecurity incidents and give those interested in the sector the confidence to start a career."

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Immersive Labs, PGI Cyber Academy, the National Autistic Society (NAS), UK Cyber Security Forum Community Interest Company (CIC), Youth Fed and the Integrate Agency CIC also received government funding, which are all working on schemes that offer cybersecurity training to traditionally hard to reach demographics.

For example, PGI Cyber Academy will offer women a conversion programme for entry-level cybersecurity roles for both technical and non-technical disciplines, while Youth Fed will pilot a Cyber Security Operations Centre based in Salford, designed to offer real-world experience to young adults.

"Untapped talent in cybersecurity can be found anywhere but unless we look for it everywhere, we risk missing out," said Margot James, minister for Digital and the Creative Industries.

"The Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund is a great example of government working closely with industry, community groups and charities to boost diversity in the workplace. Diversity should be at the heart of what we do as we work to build a Britain which is fit for the future."

CompTIA's Cyber Ready programme will run initially as a pilot, with 30 candidates being selected for training towards fulfilling the role of a Cyber Analyst, as well as receiving CompTIA certifications Security+ and Cybersecurity Analyst (CySA+).

Cybersecurity experts are expected to receive some of the highest salary increases among IT professionals in 2018, attracting a median salary of 57,500, according to ITJobswatch.co.uk, making it one of the fastest growing and most lucrative professions within IT.

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