More effort needs to be put into apprenticeships and paid internships to boost recruitment opportunities.
Speaking at the Cyber Security Summit in London, Judy Baker, chair and founder of the Cyber Security Challenge, said that the education system is not delivering for the industry, and challenged the industry to support careers fairs and pass information on about jobs as she hears from candidates that having entered a competition, they “finally get it”.
She said: “Stretching back to employment, organisations are having to train a lot as they cannot find the right fish who are the right shape for them; you cannot go out and recruit exactly what you want as there are not enough of the right people of the right shape, so you have to develop and train in house.
“Apprenticeships have been a wonderful way forward and I would argue that a lot of younger people who are good in this area, and good with apprenticeships as they are hands on and the sort of people who leave school and don’t want to go to university, it is not for them to have an academic approach, they want to be on the systems and doing,” she said. “Apprenticeships can be a good measured way for people to learn.”
Baker also praised work experience and secondments, as it enables people to taste what they don’t understand at the moment and to get much of a feel for what the jobs are.
She said: “I think you want employees who are more ready for you. You want people to come out of the education system who are nearer trained for the jobs and who are nearer ready to be a good employee.” She also said that the best people are often not coming from computer courses, but this life skills needs to be understood and you need to educate so people understand why they do things.
“I would love it if businesses did more in terms of work experience, paid internships, apprenticeships and stem ambassadors as cyber security is a stem subject,” she said. “Work with local schools and university and encourage more schools to benefit from one of the packs we have, as one has examples from sponsors that teachers love as it comes with a ready-made exercise programme.
“Recruit and train people who do not have traditional CV, it is not about asking the right questions on what people have done and been employed, and not what qualifications they have got. I have seen some bright people who take technology to pieces from a young age and if draw out what they have done, then you may want to interview them.”
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