The UK government is expanding a programme that aims to get more Brits to consider careers in information security.
The Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF) pilot, launched in February 2018, resulted in the selection of seven schemes that intend to increase diversity and widen the net in recruiting for the field.
The initiatives already picked for funding are run by CompTIA, Immersive Labs, PGI Cyber Academy, the National Autistic Society, UK Cyber Security Forum Community Interest Company, Youth Fed and Integrate Agency CIC.
Young adults, individuals on the autism spectrum, those with care commitments and those looking to change careers will be offered training and counselling through these various programmes.
The government is looking to open the scheme to fresh applications this autumn, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is holding a launch event in London on Monday 24 September.
In response to queries from El Reg, DCMS offered the following statement about the funding for the programme.
In June, the Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries announced that we will be expanding the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF).
For the pilot we offered between £10,000 and £50,000. We are increasing the funding available for second tranche and are currently finalising details, such as the criteria and bidding ranges, ahead of the launch of the CSIIF shortly.
This Fund is part of the £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Programme to build a sustainable supply of home-grown cyber security professionals, and complements existing initiatives, like CyberFirst that help to boost the diversity of candidates entering the workforce.
Asked to comment on how many jobs DCMS hoped to create through this initiative, a spokeswoman said: "We expect to see a significant increase in both the number and diversity of candidates getting into entry-level cyber security roles."
So no firm target then.
For the pilot, DCMS said it gave "additional scoring weighting to initiatives that looked to assist women and neurodiverse individuals get into the UK's cyber security industry". The expanded scheme aims to "help to identify, train and place untapped talent no matter their background".
The more recent (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Survey projected a global shortfall of 1.8 million unfilled cybersecurity vacancies by 2022 and a shortage across Europe alone of 350,000. A UK-specific breakdown isn't available. Surveys by specialist recruitment agencies speak about generous cybersecurity salaries increasing above the rate of inflation, a growth driven by supply failing to meet demand for infosec workers. ®
* The average UK infosec pro salary according to a survey run in March this year.