Cybersecurity Re-training Programme recruiting now for Employers and Learners

Friday, 17th April 2020

Guest blog by Bev McGowan -Managing Director – The Specialists Hub Ltd | CyberPRO Security Services | Chair – Cyber Expert Group, Cyber Resilience Centre for Greater Manchester

CyberPRO in collaboration with The Educationwise Academy are launching an initiative in April to upskill and retrain women in cybersecurity through a modern style apprenticeship programme funded by the levy.

The aim is to enable women from all backgrounds and age groups to start a career in cybersecurity and provide a strong support model with mentors from the industry, coaches and experts on hand for advice and training and a modern digital training programme.

We are calling on employers to identify opportunities for current staff and also new opportunities to upskill and retrain women in cybersecurity.  Organisations can address internal challenges with meeting the skills demand for cybersecurity, reducing security risks,  whilst positively contributing to closing the gender gap within this field and creating new opportunities for women in the workforce.

Recent research by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport identified only 15% of the cybersecurity workforce are women.  Employers could benefit significantly by taking on more females in these roles.  Not all roles are technical.  Cybersecurity roles vary from non-technical analyst, risk management and governance roles through to the more technical roles such as forensics and penetration testing.  There really is something for everybody.

The research also identified approximately 653,000 businesses have a basic cybersecurity skills gap and there has been 393,257 cyber security-related job postings over the past 3 years, highlighting a real demand in this area.

The Programme

The training is delivered through a combination of online digital learning, workplace project work and expert led masterclasses over 18 months.  Training can also be provided to furloughed staff, which is an opportunity to be doing something positive whilst staff are furloughed at home.

Our training programme includes technical, non-technical and essential skills to ensure learners are ready for implementing cyber security in a commercial or public services environment and we will provide a mentor for each learner to support pre, during and post apprenticeship.

We are recruiting now for cohorts in July and September and will have the ability to commence training in line with the social distancing rules in place for COVID-19.

We do also run a similar programme for men and mixed cohorts, please enquire at

About Us

The Specialists Hub Ltd and its Cybersecurity Division CyberPRO provides consulting and training services in 5 core disciplines:

  • Information & Cyber Security
  • Privacy & Data Protection
  • Operational & Cyber Resilience
  • IT Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC)
  • FS Regulatory Compliance

Our cybersecurity division, provides security testing and assurance services including vulnerability scanning, penetration testing and phishing simulation. We are accredited training partners for CompTIA, EC Council, PECB and IAPP and trusted supplier of the Cyber Resilience Centre.

Bev McGowan, CEO, “I started my career as an apprentice in the mid 90’s and have since had a successful career in the fields of IT, GRC, Security and Privacy. My career has predominantly been spent within the Financial Services and Banking sector, working for Citibank, Cooperative Bank and Royal London Group over the last 23 years.  For this reason I am a real advocate for apprenticeships and believe they bring great opportunities and benefits for both the apprentice and the employer.”

The Educationwise Group Ltd supports employers with a fully outsourced Learning Managed Solution that provides a single point of contact for HR and Learning and Development Teams. We use the Levy for Apprenticeships as a strategic platform to unlock a wider educational service for skills and workforce Development. Our Aim is to work with employers to help demystify the levy and provide a single managed solution that compliments their own talent and employee investment strategy.


If you’re an employer who wants to take on an apprentice or you have an existing employee that would like to up-skill, hiring an apprentice is a productive and effective way for any organisation to grow talent and develop a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce. 86% of employers said apprenticeships developed skills relevant to their organisation and 78% reported improved productivity.

Apprentices will spend at least 20% of their time on off-the-job training. There is no age limit for apprenticeship programmes and they can be new or current employees who are looking to upskill.

You can get help from the government to pay for apprenticeship training and assessment. The amount you get depends on whether you pay the apprenticeship levy or not. You will pay the apprenticeship levy if you’re an employer with a pay bill more than £3 million each year.

As an employer who doesn’t pay the apprenticeship levy, you’ll pay 5% towards the cost of the apprenticeship over the full term of the programme. The government will pay the rest (95%) up to the funding band maximum, directly to the training provider. You may be eligible to receive full funding to cover the cost of apprenticeship training, plus additional support. Contact us to find out what you are entitled to and to find out more information

The great news is that furloughed staff as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic are now able to start on their education journey. This is a great opportunity to stay engaged whilst working from home.  Get started today! 

  • Are you an employer with an opportunity to upskill your current workforce?
  • Are you an employer with an opportunity to hire an apprentice and enhance your inhouse cybersecurity skills?
  • Are you a women interested in a career in cybersecurity?
  • Are you a professional in tech or cyber willing to volunteer your time to mentor women through our training programme?
  • Are you an organisation who can offer any support for our women and this important initiative?

If so, please get in touch with us at