Campaign launched to recruit cyber security specialists of the future

A university has joined forces with employers from across Gloucestershire’s cyber security sector to offer new apprenticeship opportunities.

Gloucestershire Cyber Launchpad is bringing together innovative and forward-thinking employers who are committed to making new apprenticeship roles in cyber security available within their organisations, to be filled by new recruits with untapped talent and the potential to thrive.

And Gloucestershire University is collaborating with schools, colleges and community organisations to find suitable candidates to fill these new apprenticeship roles, particularly young people who are neurodiverse and those who might otherwise miss out on higher education opportunities.

A recruitment event on 30 May 2024 at the University’s Oxstalls Campus will provide opportunities for potential candidates to meet with employers and gain more information about the new apprenticeship roles.

Employers already participating in the scheme include Cyber Security Associates, Salus and Gloucester City Council, with more expected to join over the coming weeks.

Chris Webb, transformation and technology manager for Gloucester City Council, said: “Apprentices offer a fresh outlook, and by getting in from the ground up, they are able to master their skills from within the council. This is hugely beneficial, particularly in a complex organisation such as ours.

“We are hugely excited to hear about inclusive ambitions of the GCL scheme as we know that enhancing the diversity of our workforce has a very positive impact on productivity and work quality.”

Sophie Burch, client development manager and project lead for the GCL Scheme, said: “It has been hugely exciting to work with these fantastic employers to get our launchpad up and running.

“In particular, it was hugely heartening to hear how committed these organisations are to offering new opportunities to local people, especially those whose talents are currently at risk of being missed by the system.

“The next stage involves stepping up our work to find suitable candidates to fill these roles. Therefore, I would urge anyone interested in becoming a cyber security degree apprentice to get in touch. All you need is a flair for computing and the enthusiasm to success.”

The GCL scheme is being funded through a successful bid made by the University to the Office for Students. Through the Degree Apprenticeships Funding Competition, the University was awarded £300,000 to boost numbers on some of its apprenticeship programmes, including the Cyber Security Technical Professional Degree Apprenticeship.

The University recently announced it was rapidly expanding its cyber facilities and connections, forging ahead with new facilities in Cheltenham and launching a new partnership with CyNam.

Earlier this year, the University was awarded a share of £8.2m in new funding to increase diversity and widen access within the UK digital sector, providing a larger pool of highly skilled graduates to address the skills gap.