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Australia to offer $60m in grant funding to empower its cyber security workforce

The Australian Government is inviting submissions for more than $60 million in grant money to support innovative projects that will boost Australia’s cyber security workforce through strengthening partnerships among industry, businesses, education institutions, and governments. 

Round two of the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund will start from October 25th and will offer grants ranging from $250k to $3 million. The grant is a step forward in strengthening the nation’s cyber security capability and establishing career pathways to help more Australians seek jobs. 

The government intends to fund projects that will boost the participation of women, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people living in regional and remote areas, and those with neurodiverse backgrounds in Australia’s cyber security workforce. 

The Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund, according to Melissa Price, Minister for Science and Technology, is critical to keeping Australians and businesses safe and secure online.

“Importantly, this fund will also build industry capability, improve diversity and create new jobs,” Minister Price said. “Our digital economy relies on the skills of cyber security professionals to protect businesses and consumers online.

“That is why the government is investing a further $60.1 million to support innovative projects that will increase the strength, skills, and diversity of our cyber workforce.

The minister further said that a number of activities are eligible for funding, varying from assisting students into training and career pathways, to developing the skills of job-ready professionals through industry traineeships and work experience programmes.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said round two of the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund would build on important work already underway as part of the Government’s $1.67 billion Cyber Security Strategy.

“Australia’s cyber security 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.

“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.

“The innovation fund is part of the Morrison Government’s more than $81 million Cyber Security National Workforce Growth Program, itself a key element of Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy.”

What are the fund’s objectives?

The Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund is part of the National Workforce Growth Program for Cyber Security, which is a key component of Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020. The government committed an additional $43.8 million to the initiative in the 2021–22 Budget. 

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

For the second round, the primary focus projects that will boost the participation of:

  • women
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • people based in regional and remote areas
  • people with neurodiverse backgrounds

The fund also aims to improve collaboration between industry and the education sector to attract, train and place cyber security talents into businesses. We encourage applicants who are able to find innovative or new ways to improve cyber security skills to apply.

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

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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