The Department of Labor is promoting registered apprenticeships as a way for industry sectors to train skilled cybersecurity workers with a 120-day sprint announced Tuesday.
Together with the White House Office of the National Cyber Director, Department of Commerce and other agencies, DOL will recruit employers, industry sector associations, labor unions, educational providers, and community-based organizations to join or launch registered apprenticeships through National Apprenticeship Week running Nov. 12-20, 2022.
Registered apprenticeships are career pathways, often for underserved communities, where employers offer future workers pay, mentorships, classroom instruction and a nationally recognized credential, and the Biden administration is championing them to fill nearly 700,000 open cyber jobs nationwide. The Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint was announced at the White House’s National Cyber Workforce and Education Summit, one month after President Biden signed into law a bill creating a federal rotational cyber workforce program.
“These newly trained workers will help protect our critical infrastructure, advance our digital way of life, strengthen our economy and improve access to cybersecurity career paths for underrepresented communities — especially women, people of color, veterans and people with disabilities,” said Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.
DOL’s Office of Apprenticeship will work with employers to launch apprenticeship programs within 48 hours using vetted standards, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology‘s National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE) is also looking to partner. NICE offers an apprenticeship locator.
About 42,260 cybersecurity apprentices are a part of 714 programs currently with 199, a 28% increase, created since Jan. 20, 2021.
“The Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Sprint is a creative initiative, which will encourage a swath of new talent into the cybersecurity workforce by bootstrapping highly visible and valuable work experience and by focusing on inclusivity and diversity as a primary objective,” said Casey Ellis, founder of Bugcrowd, which offers its vulnerability disclosure platform to agencies, in a statement.