E-Skills, Britain's sector skills council for business and information technology said the apprenticeships will help train the next generation of cybersecurity specialists. The companies involved in the partnership include IBM, BT, QinetiQ, Cassidian, CREST, and Atos, ZDNet reported Thursday.
Apprentices will be able to choose from among three cybersecurity career paths.
"The three job roles that have been identified so far are security specialist, penetration tester, and security architect," E-Skills project manager Mark Heholt said.
Heholt said he expected to have 280-300 apprentices enrolled in the program by 2015.
Britain has an IT skills shortage that could last for decades if not addressed now, a report by the county's National Audit Office said.
"These new apprenticeships will help tackle the skills shortage faced by this sector, including attracting more women, who are currently under-represented," E-Skills U.K. Chief Executive Officer Karen Price said.
The initiative will be funded with $3 million from the U.K. Commission for Employment and Skills and $4.5 million from the companies taking on the apprentices.
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