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by Sofia Villegas
17 May 2024
UK Government ramps up efforts to bridge cybersecurity skills gap

Common cybersecurity standards to be adopted nationwide | Alamy

UK Government ramps up efforts to bridge cybersecurity skills gap

The UK is to adopt common cybersecurity standards in new plan to bridge the sector’s skills gap, the government has announced.

UK technology minister Saqib Bhatti has announced that the cybersecurity workforce will follow common standards to “ensure that employers get the skilled staff they need”.

The UK Government will use UK Cyber Security Council professional standards to “maintain a clear and consistent” career framework across public sector organisations. 

Since launching in 2021, the council has set industry standards and awarded professional titles for the UK cyber workforce. 

Bhatti expects those practitioners who have gained council professional titles will be acknowledged as the “gold standard”.  

By 2025, the government says it will map its security career framework to the councils’ professional titles, clearly outlining the skills for those working on cybersecurity within the government.

Training programmes will also be planned according to council standards. 

The government has also committed to helping National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) specialists gain council recognition and let council standards “define” the skills the industry will need to deliver NCSC-recognised services.

Those who purchase cyber security services in government will also be able to demand that staff servicing contracts hold council titles.

Outside of government, CNI regulators have agreed to promote council standards as a “benchmark” for professional cyber security practice. 

Meanwhile, the Cyber Growth Partnership (CGP), co-chaired by techUK, will work with the council to discover any barriers to the widespread adoption of the chartered status, with those findings to be presented to the National Cyber Advisory Board later this year.

Bhatti also announced a call for views on a new code of practice for software vendors designed to boost the resilience and security of software.  

A separate call has been launched on how to scale up the Cyber-First programme, designed to attract young people to the sector. 

In addition, a new cyber skills competition for 18–25-year-olds will be launched later this year, with more updates to follow soon.

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