Veterans Provide Opportunity to Address Canada’s Cyber Skills Shortage

OTTAWA,ON- EY Canada is collaborating with WithYouWithMe (WYWM), The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and Shared Services Canada (SSC) to address the cybersecurity talent gap by upskilling CAF veterans for projects within the Government of Canada. Demand for cybersecurity resources is growing quickly as 66% of security leaders report an increase in cyberattacks over the last 12 months, according to the 2020 EY Global Information Security Survey.

The WYWM program will train veterans in technology-based roles that leverage existing skills, potential and aptitude testing data. Then, through the Cyber Workforce Enablement Program Contract with SSC, EY Canada will work with government departments to identify cyber and technology requirements of cybersecurity roles and place program graduates with complementary skills.

“Public and private sectors need to think outside of the box to leverage members of our broader community to build a sustainable workforce in cybersecurity. Looking beyond a candidate’s experience to their transferable skills and potential can help fill the talent gap,” says Jamie O’Hare, Associate Partner, EY Canada Cybersecurity practice. “That’s exactly what we’re doing with Shared Services Canada. Military personnel are trained in land, air and sea and by simply adding new digital terrain, we can leverage the expertise and skills that they already possess.”

The strength of an organization comes from the variability and diversity of its workforce to bring differentiated ideas and perspectives to the table. Resilience, defence and project and change management are among the skills that veterans possess that complement roles in cybersecurity. What’s more, these individuals already have the security clearance required to work for the Government of Canada, providing one less barrier to entry.

“We are proud to be working with our colleagues in The Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group and our industry partners on the project,” said Paul Glover, President of Shared Services Canada. “The Cyber Workforce Enablement Program will help meet the need for qualified cyber security professionals while also helping veterans find meaningful work once their uniformed careers are over.”