Closing the cybersecurity talent gap: the Commission launches the Cybersecurity Skills Academy

On 18 April 2023 the European Commission presented the new Cybersecurity Skills Academy, that will be hosted on the Digital Skills & Jobs Platform. The Cyber Skills Academy aims to be a coordinated approach to boost the EU cyber workforce. The Academy was presented alongside a new EU Cyber Solidarity Act to boost a common reaction to cyber attacks.

The Cybersecurity Skills Academy

In recent years, cyber threats in the EU have increased dramatically and Europe must remain resilient and strengthen its cybersecurity capacities. For this reason, on 18 April 2023 the European Commission has presented the Cybersecurity Skills Academy, a coordinated approach towards closing the cybersecurity talent gap. 

The Cyber Skills Academy will bea single point of entry for cybersecurity training offers, certifications, funding opportunities and any other existing initiatives aimed at promoting cybersecurity skills. As part of the 2023 European Year of Skills programme, the Cyber Skills Academy is designed to bring together private and public initiatives aimed at promoting cybersecurity skills at European and national levels, especially those to upskill cybersecurity professionals, and make them visible on an online platform. Through the creation of this Academy, the European Commission wants to ensure a coordinated approach towards closing the cybersecurity talent gap.

With the cyber package presented today, we show how by acting in solidarity, we can build up the infrastructure, skills and capacities that we need to face our common growing cybersecurity threat.” Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President for a Europe Fit for the Digital Age

The Academy will be hosted on the Digital Skills and Jobs Platform, in a dedicated online space that provides any relevant information for Europeans interested in a career in cybersecurity. Organisations interested in improving cybersecurity skills in the EU can now demonstrate their commitment by submitting a Cybersecurity Skills Pledge directly on the DSJP.

The pillars of the Cyber Skills Academy

In particular, the Academy will be organised in four specific pillars:

  1. First, the Cyber Skills Academy will promote knowledge generation through education and training offers by establishing a common EU approach to cybersecurity training. 
  2. Secondly, the Academy calls on stakeholders to submit pledges, improve gender balance in cybersecurity and include measures to address the cybersecurity skills gap in national cybersecurity strategies.
  3. Under the third pillar, the Academy will ensure more visibility for funding opportunities and projects for skills-related activities to maximise their impact.
  4. Finally, the Academy will develop a methodology to monitor the evaluation of the market and measure the progress achieved to close the cybersecurity skills gap. 

The final goal of the Cyber Academy will be the creation of a shared platform for academia, training providers, and industry to collaborate on educational programs, training opportunities, funding initiatives, and tracking developments in the cybersecurity job market.

This is just the beginning of the EU’s Cybersecurity strategy. The proposed EU Cyber Solidarity Act and the Cybersecurity Skills Academy will further bolster the ability to detect cyber threats, enhance resilience and preparedness at all levels of the EU’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

The EU Cyber Solidarity Act and the Cybersecurity Skills Academy are our two new tangible instruments to address the EU’s operational cybersecurity needs: the Act brings forward concrete measures that will allow the EU to respond to threats and attacks; and the Academy aims at reinforcing our skills base so that we have the people we need for this purpose.” Margaritis Schinas, Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life

EU Cyber Solidarity Act

The Commission has adopted alongside the Academy a proposal for the EU Cyber Solidarity Act to boost common and quick detection and response actions to cyber attacks. The Cyber Solidarity Act establishes EU capabilities to make Europe more resilient and reactive in front of cyber threats, while strengthening existing cooperation mechanism. It aims at ensuring a safe and secure landscape for citizens and businesses and to protecting critical entities and essential services.

Today marks the proposal of a European cyber shield. To effectively detect, respond, and recover from large-scale cybersecurity threats, it is imperative that we invest substantially and urgently in cybersecurity capabilities. The Cyber Solidarity Act is a critical milestone in our journey towards achieving this objective”. Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market

Next steps

The European Parliament and the Council will be responsible for examining the proposed Regulation on the EU Cyber Solidarity Act, as well as the targeted amendment to the Cybersecurity Act.

In close cooperation with the Commission and the Member States, the EU Cybersecurity Agency (ENISA) and the European Cybersecurity Competence Centre (ECCC) will continue working on cybersecurity skills, contributing to the implementation of the Cybersecurity Skills Academy. ENISA will also develop a pilot project, exploring the set-up of a European attestation scheme for cybersecurity skills, to ensure that professionals undertake required quality cybersecurity trainings.

For more information

Read more about the Cyber Skills Academy and the EU’s Cybersecurity strategy.

Check the Cybersecurity Skills Academy Factsheet and watch this informative video with an interview of Anne-Sophie Diehl, Policy Officer at the European Commission (DG CNECT), explaining what the EU Cybersecurity Skills Academy is, why it was created and how it works in practice.

© European Union, 2023

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