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Funding to build cyber security skills in Australian businesses

The $26.5m Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund that has been launched by the federal government will provide grants of between $250,000 and $3 million to improve the quality and availability of cyber security professionals through training.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the funding would help build cyber security career pathways as Australia continues its comeback from COVID-19.

“The Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund will support partnerships between industry, education providers and governments to build the next generation of cyber security experts,” Andrews said.

“Cyber security is essential to our digital economy and needs to be strong in all areas, particularly in small and medium enterprises which comprise 98 per cent of all Australian businesses.

“This fund builds on our commitment to keep Australians secure online, and to support building industry capability.”

Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said growing Australia’s cyber skills is an important deliverable under the Government’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

“Having more people trained in cyber security will build on the other measures funded as part of our $1.67 billion Strategy to keep Australians safe online and protect against cyber attacks from malicious actors including cyber criminals,” said Dutton.

The Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund is part of the $50 million Cyber Security National Workforce Growth Program, a key element of Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020.

Eligible activities may 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 which is the main driver of the project and is eligible to apply, and at least one other project partner.

It is estimated $13 million will be available for Round One of the grants program, which closes on 11 March 2021. The second round of funding is expected to be launched late this year.

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