Understanding the supply of and demand for cyber skills in the UK
Client: Department for Culture, Media & Sport
Commissioned by Government (DCMS) and undertaken in partnership with Databuild and Security Lancaster, The Work Foundation has been investigating the supply and demand for cyber-security skills in the UK.
In advance of a comprehensive survey of business by Databuild, to estimate the shortage of those with cyber-security skills, we undertook a consultative process with experts from a range of organisations to meet the challenge of how to survey non-experts on highly technical skills needs. This required understanding of both the technical and generic business languages and the ability to translate this into an accepted and structured typology.
Our report has fed into the National Cyber Security Strategywhich was announced by the Chancellor in November 2016
Identifying a ‘tipping point’ of mobility?
There is a perceptible trend for remote and mobile working that is being driven by the increased availability of digital technology and new, more flexible working practices.
The Work Foundation was commission to explore the idea that this type of working may be reaching a “tipping point” – whereby it becomes more prevalent than traditional office-based work - and how the benefits could be made to outweigh the downsides for both individuals and employers.
To understand the development of these trends, we established a panel of leading academic and industry experts, using a Delphi approach, and surveyed over 500 managers. We were able to independently report that whilst technology is an enabler, people-centred approaches would need to be put in place to allow the true benefits to be realised.
In search of the ‘Gig-Economy’
The concept of the “gig-economy” reflects two fundamental trends in the labour market – the use of digital platform technologies to extend the reach of service provision and the intensification of fragmentation into self-employment, and micro firms.
Unfortunately the term is used imprecisely to describe many different implementations of these trends, which has led in turn to sweeping generalisations regarding the need for increased intervention on terms and conditions for those working in many different areas of what might imprecisely be called the “gig-economy”.
Our research seeks to establish the argument for greater clarity of definitions to enable effective intervention and regulation to challenge exploitation and to prevent the ‘blunt’ policies which destroy good work.