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BT Plans Security Recruitment Drive to Hire 900

BT has announced plans to recruit 900 people to work in its security division, and take-on and train 170 graduates and apprentices.

As part of a major drive to protect consumers, businesses and governments from the growing threat of cybercrime, BT will boost its 2,500-strong security staff with the recruitment drive over the next 12 months.

The graduates and apprentices will undergo training in BT’s Security Academy in a range of areas including physical security, penetration testing, threat intelligence, risk management, security operations and sales.

Mark Hughes, President of BT Security, said: “BT plans to remain at the forefront, innovating in cybersecurity, by hiring some of the best talent while training up the next generation of experts at our BT Security Academy.”

BT is also holding an apprentice open afternoon at a prestigious Central London location, where potential recruits can find out more about the scheme. Apply here.

Nigel Harrison, Director of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, who have partnered with BT in its initiatives, said that the announcement from BT that shows the escalating demand for people with the right skills, both in this country and globally.

“It is particularly encouraging to see an emphasis on graduate recruitment and apprenticeships; growing the next generation of cybersecurity experts is an industry-wide responsibility which is also whole-heartedly supported by Government,” he told Infosecurity.

“The country needs to continue to invest a great deal of time, effort and money into finding talented people ready to enter the profession, training those with the required aptitude and generally encouraging young people to consider careers in STEM subjects. 

“Often the potential talent currently lies undetected and many organizations are now looking beyond traditional 'profiles'; recognizing that cybersecurity professionals come in all shapes and sizes. Creating developmental roles and pathways is key to nurturing those with aptitude and raw talent who have been discovered by initiatives such as Cyber Security Challenge UK.”

Dr Adrian Davis, European MD at (ISC)² told Infosecurity that even major corporations report that they are struggling to get talent, and while well-known companies such as BT may be able to find 900 information security staff because of their brand name and the wages they can offer; he said that the problem is that the growing skills shortfall is increasing wages beyond the reach of the majority of businesses.

He said: “While big corporations can make the investment, the rest are forced to rely on over-worked non-specialist IT staff to secure their organizations against attack. Our most recent survey of the information and cybersecurity workforce found that specialist information security jobs are in decline, while general IT workers are instead being forced to take on security tasks in addition to their own jobs, adding to their workload.

“The skills shortage and wage-inflation requires a broad societal response that includes the kind of investment that BT is making here, alongside other initiatives that can boost the talent pipeline at the other end. New info security guidelines included in the Chartered Institute of IT and EQANIE accreditation criteria for universities, developed with input from (ISC)² will encourage around 100 UK Universities to teach information and cybersecurity in their computing degrees. This will ultimately produce a new crop of graduates interested in pursuing the growing number of information and cybersecurity roles, widening the talent pool and reducing wage inflation.”

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