Employers including Atos, BT, Cassidian, IBM and QinetiQ have joined forces to create new specialist cyber security apprenticeships for school leavers through e-skills UK.
Overall, more than 100 of these new apprenticeships are expected to be made available this summer.
The apprenticeships will be offered by organisations including BT, Capgemini, CGI and Atos, as well as small businesses specialising in cyber security. They are designed to make it possible for talented school-leavers to enter the sector directly, learning skills in the workplace, while gaining formal qualifications and earning a salary.
The cyber security apprenticeships will offer a new entry route into the sector, which is important because research last year from e-skills UK showed the sector has an ageing workforce, with only seven percent of security professionals aged under 30.
The sector also faces a significant skills shortage, with the National Audit Office saying that the current pipeline of graduates and practitioners will not meet growing demand for cyber security professionals.
Karen Price, CEO of e-skills UK, said: “I’m very pleased to see how many employers have pioneered cyber security apprenticeships since they were initiated through the Cyber Academy less than a year ago.
“I’m in no doubt that these apprenticeships will significantly help to widen access to the sector, by opening up opportunities to young people from a diverse range of backgrounds.”
Earlier this week e-skills UK announced its IT Management for Business (ITMB) degree will be available at postgraduate level for the first time from this September