• UKC3-recognised cyber clusters are supporting cyber skills growth in the UK through events, initiatives and joint programmes.

  • Cyber skills growth is one of UKC3’s main pillars for developing the cyber security sector in the UK.

  • Cyber clusters’ efforts to support the cyber skills growth in the UK are backed by DCMS.

An important component of the overall strategic objective of developing the UK’s cyber security sector is cyber skills growth. Through this component, UKC3 is helping organisations acquire basic or advanced technical skills. The purpose of advancing cyber skills is to prevent cyber threats that have become more prevalent in recent years. A recent report that evaluated the cyber security skills in the UK labour market found that there is a significant gap in advanced technical skills such as penetration testing, forensic analysis and security architecture or engineering.

As part of its remit to support the development of the UK’s cyber security sector, UKC3 is actively involved in cyber skills growth programmes and initiatives. Each month, UKC3-recognised cyber clusters are organising or supporting actions meant to accelerate the cyber skills growth in their respective regions. UKC3 is providing funding, enabling networking and knowledge exchange sessions. The organisation is identifying opportunities for clusters to contribute to the regional and ultimately national growth of the cyber security sector. Here is an overview of the activities carried out within UKC3-recognised cyber clusters to support the cyber skills growth.

Cyber Security Events to Support the Cyber Skills Growth

Bristol and Bath Cyber are organising monthly cyber networking meetings. On March 8th, the cluster conducted the “Second Tuesday Cyber Networking”. This event focused on understanding the cyber skills gap and the training needs in the region for 2022. A major focus of the meeting was securing future talent in the cyber sector. In addition, the event uncovered the challenges facing cyber businesses in recruiting and retaining staff in 2022. A specific topic was inclusivity and diversity in the workplace.

South West Cyber Security Cluster are holding monthly cyber security networking events, with the purpose of allowing cybersec professionals to share their knowledge and expertise with the community and unskilled cyber security individuals. The cluster also held their 15th Annual Event on March 23rd, “Secure South West 15”. The event focused, among other interesting topics, on cyber skills development. In this sense, their line-up of speakers facilitated the connection between education and industry, providing a broad perspective on the varied opportunities in cyber security.

ScotlandIS is organising various programmes meant to support cyber skills growth across their region. Their Digital Critical Friends programme pairs secondary school teachers with relevant practitioners and companies in the tech sector. Businesses of all sizes including Codify, Amazon, Virgin Money, i-confidential, Cutitronics, and Adobe have joined to help shape future curriculum and teaching methods. ScotlandIS has also contributed to the DCMS-led programme “Cyber Runway”, supporting the cyber security development in the UK.

Other clusters supporting the DCMS-led initiative Cyber Runway were Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster, NI Cyber (Northern Ireland) and Cyber Wales. Their contribution to this programme consisted in identifying the growth actors that can support the talent development and innovation in this industry.

In the upcoming months, UKC3 and its recognised cyber clusters will continue to drive cyber skills growth through new initiatives and events at regional and national level. Some of these events include Scot-Secure 2022, Infosecurity Europe or CyberUK 2022. More details to come, follow UKC3 on LinkedIn and Twitter for updates.