All the initiatives

Last week I mentioned that I was in town three days in a row. Twice I met up with colleagues from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). I’ve already blogged about the meeting on the Wednesday and so this time it is about what happened on the Tuesday.

Before I start though, it was good to meet people face to face. I’d only ever spoken to those I was meeting online and it is odd how everyone looks ever so slightly different in the flesh. I guess it’s a 3D thing.

Since early this year I have been working on a programme to look at cyber security skills and job opportunities across the region. Working with a team pof people we identified over 70 actions that we would like to carry out to address apparent disconnects in the jobs market. Some of these needed to be addressed at a national level and this is what I wanted to meet NCSC about.

What the CyberNorth Skills Working Group wanted may seem simple at first yet they are likely to be highly complicated to implement. Things such as having a common narrative about what cyber security is, a set of free to use images that portray the wide array of cyber security careers and people should be achievable. On the other hand, setting up a shared apprentice scheme may be more of a challenge.

I talked about what we were trying to do and they talked about what they were trying to do. Surprise surprise there was quite an overlap and they were aware of several initiatives that were working to achieve many of the same things, not just from the NCSC but across many organisations that they work with. They also pointed me in the direction of other possible sources of help.

What became apparent, in both this meeting and the subsequent one on Wednesday, was that what was really missing was coordination between the various activities. Everyone it seems, us included, was ploughing its own furrow without much thought for the rest of the market. 

There is clearly an opportunity for greater collaboration and cooperation. Thinking about it, this is a role for UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration, as it fits nicely into its three areas of focus: Ecosystem development; Skills and; Innovation.

Perhaps this is one for next year’s budget, should there be one.

It’s always good to talk.

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