$60m commitment to grow Australia's cybersecurity workforce

Tuesday, 26 October, 2021

$60m commitment to grow Australia's cybersecurity workforce

Round two of the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund (CSSPIF) has been announced, with grants of between $250,000 and $3 million on offer, aimed at improving the quality and availability of cybersecurity professionals in Australia.

According to a joint statement from Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price and Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews, the grants will support innovative projects that will boost Australia’s cybersecurity workforce by enhancing partnerships between industry, education providers and governments.

The government is seeking to support projects that will improve the diversity of Australia’s cybersecurity workforce, particularly those that will boost the participation of women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people based in regional and remote areas, and people with neurodiverse backgrounds.

Minister Price said the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund was essential to keeping Australians and their businesses safe online.

“Importantly, this fund will also build industry capability, improve diversity and create new jobs,” she said.

“A number of activities are eligible for support, from helping students into training and career pathways, to building the capability of job-ready professionals through industry traineeships and work experience programs.

“Australia’s cybersecurity workforce is expected to grow significantly in coming years, and we’re accelerating this growth by fostering stronger partnerships between industry and education providers.”

Minister Andrews said round two of the CSSPIF would build on work already underway as part of the government’s $1.67 billion Cyber Security Strategy, which includes the recently released Ransomware Action Plan and legislation to protect critical infrastructure from attack, among other initiatives.

“Government action is only half the story though, which is why the partnership innovation fund is so important. We need to ensure private enterprise has the skills, training and expertise to deal with the full range of cyber threats Australians will face in years to come,” she said.

Eligible activities include:

  • developing and delivering specialist cybersecurity courses for professionals,
  • retraining programs,
  • professional development,
  • apprenticeships,
  • establishing new internships,
  • cadetships, work experience and staff exchanges,
  • establishing cyber labs and training facilities.

Applicants must submit a joint application, with one lead organisation that is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply, and at least one other project partner.

Applications for round two are open until 6 December 2021, and more information is available at https://business.gov.au/grants-and-programs/cyber-security-skills-partnership-innovation-fund.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Blue Planet Studio

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