Australian government invests $8 million to boost cyber skills

The eight projects aim to improve the skills and availability of cyber security professionals in the country

The Australian government is investing over AU$8 million (£4.3 million) in new projects designed to improve the skills and availability of cyber security professionals in the country, in line with its aim to become a leading digital economy by 2030.

There are eight successful projects that will be awarded the money as part of the first round of the $70 million Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund. The projects aim to introduce students to training and career pathways and also create job-ready professionals through industry traineeships and work experience programmes.

La Trobe University in Melbourne was awarded $2.35 million to “raise awareness” among 80,000 high school students about cyber security skills and training opportunities. This project will partner with major industry players to help small businesses grow their skills too.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said the cyber security workforce was expected to grow by about 7000 over the next three years, which is why it was so important to strengthen training and career pathways.

“These projects will help inspire the next generation to consider a cyber security career, as well helping to build industry capability, with experts in the field sharing their knowledge directly with small businesses,” he said.

Grok Academy, a not for profit that aims to teach computing skills, was awarded $1.8 million to develop students’ cyber security skills. A Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation(CSIRO) project will up-skill SME leaders and early career researchers in cyber security in innovation and provide 100 university students with work experience through its $259,899 funding.

Moreover, TasTAFE, the largest public provider of vocational training and education in Tasmania, won $1.49 million to establish a Cyber Innovation Training Hub that offers virtual and face-to-face training while a Central Regional TAFE project will get $258,167 to improve the number and quality of cyber security trained professionals including women in regional and remote locations in Western Australia. 

An NSW Treasury project will also deliver a six-week cyber security work experience programme with TAFE NSW and businesses for year 10 students through $650,000 funding.

Furthermore, RightCrowd, a software company, was given $1 million to offer post-graduate training with Griffith University and commercial internships. A project led by the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network was given $320,000 to develop a Cyber Security Traineeship programme to support around 200 participants into a cyber security career.

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