$60m to grow Australia's cyber security workforce

Joint media release with the Minister for Home Affairs the Hon Karen Andrews MP 

The Morrison Government is continuing to increase the nation’s cyber security capability and build career pathways to get more Australians into jobs, with applications for more than $60 million in grant funding opening today.

Round two of the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund will provide grants of between $250,000 and $3 million.

These grants will support innovative projects that will boost Australia’s cyber security 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 cyber security 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 for Science and Technology Melissa 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,” Minister Price said.

“Our digital economy relies on the skills of cyber security professionals to protect businesses and consumers online.

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

“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 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 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.

“The Morrison Government is taking strong action to keep Australians safe online – we’ve issued Australia’s first Ransomware Action Plan, passed important legislation to protect critical infrastructure from cyber-attack, launched an Australian Federal Police-led taskforce to combat ransomware, and given police and law enforcement agencies important new powers to tackle crime on the dark web,” 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.”

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.

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