The shortage of employees with cyber skills in government—on GAO’s list of high-risk federal programs since 2003—“has taken on new urgency” with new and escalating threats, says a Senate report on a bill to increase the government’s talent pipeline.
“The consistent shortage of cybersecurity personnel represents a high risk to national security” that has gotten more severe in the light of multiple high-profile cybersecurity incidents in the last year including ransomware attacks, it says.
The report was filed in support of S-2274, now ready for a vote on the Senate floor, to order DHS to establish a five-year cybersecurity registered apprenticeship pilot program. Participants who successfully compete on-the-job cybersecurity training could be hired into cybersecurity-specific excepted service positions within a federal agency and would have to commit to working in the federal government for a period equal to the length of the apprenticeship.
The bill also would set up a pilot program on cybersecurity training for veterans and members of the Armed Forces transitioning to civilian life.