Eight organisations, including La Trobe University and not-for-profit training provider Grok Academy, have shared in $8.2 million in funding under the first round of the government’s cyber security skills partnership innovation fund.
The fund – established through the government's 2020 cyber security strategy last year – is aimed at finding new ways to boost the quality and availability of cyber security professionals in Australia.
The government has made just over $70 million available through the fund over the next three years, a figure that was boosted to the tune of $43.8 million in this year's budget.
The first round, which opened in February, offered universities, governments and other training providers grants of up to $3 million each to fund 50 percent of a cyber security training program conducted with another partner organisation.
Of the eight projects announced on Tuesday, La Trobe University received the bulk of the funding, with $2.35 million to flow towards its “partnership for new cyber security professionals, skills and employment”.
It will use the funding to raise awareness among 80,000 high school students about cyber security skills and training opportunities.
The government said the program also “partners with major industry players to help small businesses grow their skills”.
Grok Academy – which consists of the Australian Computing Academy and Grok Learning – scored $1.8 million for its “Cyber STEPs: secondary to tertiary education partnerships” program.
The program will see it partner school, vocational and university students with “major industry players to develop their cyber security skills”.
TasTAFE collected $1.5 million to establish a cyber training hub, while RightCrowd Software received $1.1 million to offer post-graduate training with Griffith University and commercial internships.
Other funded projects include:
- A six-week NSW Treasury-led cyber security work experience program with TAFE NSW and businesses for year 10 students, which received $650,000
- An Australian Cyber Security Growth Network-led project to develop a practical cyber security traineeship program to support around 200 participants, which received $320,000
- A CSIRO-led project aimed at upskilling researchers in cyber security innovation and providing 100 university students with work experience, which received $259,899
- A Central Regional TAFE-led project to improve the number and quality of cyber security trained professions in regional and remote Western Australia, which received $258,167
Industry minister Christian Porter said strengthening training and career pathways is important, with the cyber security workforce expected to grow by 7000 over the next three years.
“We know that it is vital for industry, education providers and governments to work together if we are to support and grow our critical cyber security workforce,” he said in a joint statement.
“These projects will help inspire the next generation to consider a cyber security career, as well as help to build industry capability.”
Home affairs minister Karen Andrews said growing the nation’s cyber security skills is a key part of the government’s 2020 cyber security strategy.
“We need a strong cyber security workforce in Australia to meet the increasing scale and sophistication of cyber threats,” she said.
“Projects funded under the cyber security skills partnership innovation fund will help grow our workforce to ensure a safe online environment for all Australians.”