Job Seekers Close UK Security Skills Gap but Problems Remain

There was good news from jobs site Indeed this week as new stats suggested the UK’s cybersecurity skills gap may have eased, although the long-term trend remains dire.

The global recruitment business claimed in January that the UK has the second worst skills gap in the world after Israel, based on the number of roles advertised and the number of clicks from candidates.

However, it now claims that the shortage of people with the most in-demand skills has eased by 36%, from Q1 2015 to the first three months of 2017.

Over that two-year period, the share of cybersecurity job postings increased by 2.8%, but the share of candidate clicks soared by 40.3%, according to Indeed.

However, demand is still more than double supply, with a 42.7% mismatch recorded in Q1 2017.

The biggest skills gap was found in the category of 'cloud security', where the mismatch between supply and demand was recorded at 13.4%, and in 'disaster recovery' and 'malware' categories demand outstripped supply by a factor of four to one.

Mariano Mamertino, EMEA economist at Indeed, argued that the WannaCry ransomware epidemic in May and allegations of election hacking have hit the headlines in a big way, encouraging people to consider cybersecurity as a career.

“The jump in interest from candidates is offering some relief to the thousands of British businesses struggling to find people with the skills and experience they need to keep cyber-criminals at bay,” he added.

“But while the skills gap has narrowed, demand from recruiters is still double the supply of candidates, forcing many at risk companies to offer increasingly attractive packages to woo the talent they need to protect one of their most precious assets – data.”

In February, industry non-profit (ISC)² warned that UK firms were heading for a security skills “cliff edge” due to the number of professionals set to retire without adequate numbers of younger replacements coming through the ranks.

It claimed that two-thirds of UK companies have too few cybersecurity employees, with 47% claiming the reason is a lack of qualified applicants.

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