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RFEA joins forces with Techvets to help military heroes become cyber specialists

RFEA – The Forces Employment charity is launching a new partnership with TechVets, an organisation dedicated to building a bridge for veterans into cyber security and the technology sector.

Advancements in tech and the cyber threat landscape are creating vast job opportunities. The global cyber security market is projected to reach £210 billion by 2026[1] and veterans are among the best candidates to defend the UK’s cyber frontline.

With RFEA’s support, the TechVets programme will create extensive new free upskilling and job opportunities for ‘tech-curious’ service leavers and veterans, through its unique offering of networking, mentoring, signposting and training services, via its new TechVets Academy platform.

The initiative provides learning pathways for all members to use as guidance that start at the very beginning of the journey, assuming zero knowledge and experience. The pathways, developed by industry professionals from within the TechVets membership, use a blend of open source resources, partner training and TechVets community support, to empower those new to cyber/tech to choose the pathway that is best for them.

TechVets wants to alleviate the issue of unemployment and underemployment in the veteran community by ensuring all veterans and service leavers can combine their military experience with their new leading digital skills acquired through the TechVets community, to gain sustainable careers in technology. In doing so, TechVets builds on the strengths of veterans to support the UKs digital economy.

TechVets Programme Director, James Murphy, is an Army Veteran of 19 years. He joined the 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment in 2000, before transferring to the Intelligence Corps in 2013 after sustaining life-long injuries in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He says:

“Anyone who has held a role in the Forces comes armed with an understanding of the sensitivities of working in security. Ex-Services also possess an innate ability to learn new skills and are natural problem solvers, who can work quickly and fit into a team with ease. Ex-military personnel are also the kind of people who thrive in pressurised, or time sensitive, situations. These soft skills are incredible assets in the security and technology industries, which can be used to fill the current skills shortage in this area. I am extremely excited to be taking TechVets forward into a new era, providing veterans with great opportunities to up-skill so they can forge top career paths into cyber security and technology.”

RFEA’s Chief Executive Officer, Alistair Halliday, adds:

“The TechVets Programme is a fantastic new addition to RFEA’s services that will, no doubt, encourage talented veterans to consider tech and security-based roles that may have otherwise overlooked. It will also help veterans to upskill digitally to help them get into wider roles too.  We know the incredible value that having meaningful employment brings to ex-Military personnel and we very much look forward to seeing more veterans in new and exciting roles, as a direct result of this unique initiative.”

TechVets member Gareth Paterson, joined the Army in 1994. He started out as a Tank crewman and then transferred to the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as an instructor in 2001. He left in 2018, having completed operational tours of Northern Ireland, Former Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. He says:

“I left the Army as I was at the end of my 24-year career. I needed a new challenge. I didn’t want to go into a job that was simple and easy. I wanted a role that would push me outside of my comfort zone and force me to constantly learn. I did not have a clue what career to move into, then I was introduced to offensive cyber security and penetration testing.

“I joined TechVets in January 2018 and it gave me my first insight into the tools and techniques of penetration testing. After that I was hooked! The support of everyone at TechVets, and its community, has helped me to gain confidence and push harder. I was able to gain qualifications in penetration testing which improved my job prospects in the sector. By November 2018 I started working as a cyber security consultant.

“I now spend every day out of my comfort zone and learning new things, but I get to see and do things that I never thought possible before 2018. This career teaches you resilience and to never give up. If you have a passion for cyber and want to push yourself, there is nothing stopping you!”

James Murphy adds:

“As Techvets enters into the next stage of supporting veterans and service leavers into Technology and Cyber Security careers, I am excited to unveil our new TechVets Academy platform. It will provide a much-improved user experience, enabling members to have even better access to TechVets services and the fabulous partner training on offer. This will also provide a great foundation for us to provide more partnership training with ease, whilst supporting industries to have a better engagement with TechVets. This will herald a leap forward for how we support our members to gain the necessary skills for careers in Cyber and Tech.”

Anyone interested in finding out more should visit https://techvets.co/

[1] https://www.forbes.com/sites/louiscolumbus/2020/04/05/2020-roundup-of-cybersecurity-forecasts-and-market-estimates/?sh=48424fb9381d

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