Bridging the gap into the workplace for local neurodiverse adults

Malvern cyber security company, IASME in partnership with the UK Cyber Security Forum have relaunched their successful cyber security training scheme for unemployed neurodiverse adults.


The scheme previously ran in 2018 and 2019 but was forced to halt due to funding issues and the Covid pandemic.


Now the training scheme is up and running again, this time at the Kiln in Worcester city centre. It is open to neurodiverse adults with an interest in IT, who are claiming Universal Credit from a job centre in Herefordshire or Worcestershire. The course is designed to help talented neurodiverse adults develop skills, overcome barriers and make the transition from training to employment.


Neurodiversity is a term often used interchangeably with autism, but neurodiversity is an umbrella term describing the many variations of the human brain. It is used to describe several conditions including, but not limited to: Dyspraxia, Tourettes, Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. Figures show that only 16% of autistic adults are in full time work and this figure has not changed for the last decade. Some individuals are highly skilled yet prevented from getting and keeping a job by social barriers combined with anxiety.


There is a well publicised shortage of employees with cyber security skills in the UK and this is set against an increasing demand for cyber security skills in all organisations. With suitable training and support, IASME and the UK Cyber Security Forum have shown that neurodiverse individuals can have a successful career in these highly skilled industries.


The 3x 5 week multi-level course includes face to face training, access to Immersive Labs online training platform and guest speakers from a wide variety of cyber security organisations. There is a quiet space available during the on-location training, and a welfare officer providing pastoral support to the trainees. The training provides social as well as technical training and helps the individuals build greater confidence in a safe environment.

For those trainees that are successful at level three stage, UK Cyber Security Forum and IASME will link up with specific employers and tailor the level 3 training course to help fill identified vacancies.


Former police officer, Wendy Barker was involved in the previous training schemes through her role as Cyber Prevent officer for the West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime Unit. Wendy now works as Head of Community projects at IASME and leads the new scheme. She said, “It’s great to get the training up and running again in this new three level model. The trainees who have just completed level one and will be shortly moving onto level two are a talented group of technical individuals. I’ve watched them grow in confidence as they work along-side likeminded people. They just need to find the right employer who is willing to give them a chance. “

To find out more about the neurodiverse training scheme, contact scheme manager, Wendy Barker at IASME


What is Immersive Labs?

Built by ex-GCHQ staff, Immersive Labs delivers hands-on, challenge-based skill experiences. It is the world’s first human cyber readiness platform. The technology delivers challenge-based cybersecurity content developed by experts and powered by the latest threat intelligence. We are grateful to Immersive labs who have allowed our trainees free access to their platform.


Who are IASME?

Established in 2012, IASME specialises in certification for cyber security and information assurance. IASME work in partnership with UK Government as the sole delivery partner for Cyber Essentials, a Government backed scheme that helps businesses protect themselves from the most common cyber-attacks. IASME also offer IASME Governance, an information assurance standard which is an affordable and achievable alternative to ISO27001. The IASME Governance standard was recognised by UK Government, in consultation with trade associations and industry groups, as the best cyber security standard for small companies. IASME run other certification schemes to help organisations protect themselves from fraud and cyber-crime. These include Counter Fraud Fundamentals in partnership with The Open Banking Implementation Entity, covering the basic counter fraud controls for organisations of all sizes, IoT Security Assured, which certifies internet connected devices against the most important security controls and demonstrates commitment to best practice security and Maritime Cyber Baseline, which is supported by RINA and helps to protect shipping operators and vessel owners from cyber-attack. IASME also work with the Civil Aviation Authority ASSURE scheme, their third party cyber security audit model.


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