Bids open for the second iteration of the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund – including a specific funding track for penetration testing jobs in the West Midlands
Government funding of as much as £625,000 is on offer for projects that aim to increase the diversity of the UK cybersecurity workforce.
The Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF) – which is run by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – has this week opened for a second round of applications. The government is looking to back initiatives run by charities, social enterprises, industry bodies, training providers, and further- or higher-education institutions. Bids are also welcomed by consortia led by one of these organisations.
DCMS is seeking proposals that will “boost the number and diversity of those working in the UK’s booming cybersecurity industry through helping a range of organisations to develop effective and sustainable initiatives that identify, train, and place untapped talent from a range of backgrounds into cybersecurity roles quickly”.
Funding will be split into three pots, the first of which is dedicated to comparatively large programmes that intend to place upwards of 50 people in new cybersecurity jobs within a 12-month timeframe. These programmes will typically involve at least three employers. Between £250,000 and £500,000 will be invested via this pot.
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The second pot is set aside for newer or smaller-scale projects that aim to find cybersecurity roles for up to 50 individuals. The government expects to award as much as £50,000 to these initiatives.
The third pot of funding is dedicated to the West Midlands. The money will also be exclusively focused on schemes to place people in penetration-testing jobs. DCMS is looking to back projects in the region that can find such roles for 30 or more people across the region.
Bids for funding are open until 9am on Monday 5 November.
CSIIF was launched in February, and successful bidders for the pilot round of funding were announced in June.
Projects chosen included the Cyber Safe Lambeth programme run by social enterprise The Integrate Agency CIC. The scheme, which was based in Brixton in south London, aimed to provide cybersecurity training for single parents in the area.
Also obtaining funding during the first round of applications was the National Autistic Society, which is working to develop a cybersecurity apprenticeship programme tailored for people with autism.