Above photo: Launch of national partnership for vocational training in cybersecurity/ Credit: Box Hill Institute (From Box Hill Institute's Twitter page)

Above photo: Launch of national partnership for vocational training in cybersecurity/ Credit: Box Hill Institute (From Box Hill Institute's Twitter page)

Australian TAFE institutions join hands to develop single national approach for tackling cybersecurity skills gap

CEOs and senior delegates from TasTAFE, TAFE Queensland, TAFE NSW, Canberra Institute of Technology and other organisations around Australia have signed a National TAFE agreement to work together on a single national approach, led by Victorian TAFEs, for tackling the cybersecurity skills gap. (TAFE or Technical and Further Education institutions provide vocational tertiary education in Australia).

The program will deliver common qualifications across the country based on courses developed at Box Hill Institute in Victoria.

The Box Hill Institute has developed a Certificate IV and an Advanced Diploma in Cyber Security to address Australia’s critical cybersecurity skills gap, with funding support from the Victorian Government. The Victorian Government invested AU$4.7 million from the AU$50 million TAFE Back to Work Fund to support Box Hill to develop its cybersecurity qualifications.  

This solution has been developed in close partnership with industry. Commencing in Term 1, 2018, the Cyber Security National Program will partner with industry nation-wide to provide on-the-job experience for students and address the national skills shortage in cyber security. The program will give students access to accredited training provided by qualified teachers and trainers, so they can get a job and help protect Australians online.

According to AustCyber (the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network) and Alistair MacGibbon, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister on Cyber Security, Australia requires an urgent increase in the number and quality of cybersecurity specialists. Cybersecurity graduates will play a crucial role in the fight against growing cybercrime, which affected almost half of small and medium Australian businesses in 2015 and costs the nation’s economy about AU$17 billion a year. The problem requires a single, standardised set of national training to meet the problem head on. The CEO of AustCyber holds up this cybersecurity program as the exemplar.

The state TAFEs will lobby the Federal Government to fund a national cybersecurity internship program and participating TAFEs will form local industry reference groups to ensure delivery is meeting industry needs.

Minister for Training and Skills, Gayle Tierney, said, “As more and more Victorians use the internet to do their banking and shopping, it’s vital we have job ready graduates to fight the increasing threat of cybercrime. Thanks to a government that is getting it done and supporting TAFE, it’s no surprise other states are looking to us on how to deliver high quality, industry aligned training that leads to well paid, rewarding jobs.”

“Victoria is leading Australia when it comes to cybersecurity – we’re attracting more investment so Victorians are protected from cybercrime and winning a larger share of the booming global cybersecurity sector,” Commented Minister for Innovation and the Digital Economy, Philip Dalidakis.

Box Hill Institute Group CEO Norman Gray express excitement on the prospect of Australia’s TAFEs combining their resources, saying “Within our own jurisdictions, TAFEs are able to produce excellent training results. But united, we have the opportunity to produce something really special. By combining the strengths of our teachers and our facilities, we’ll develop a training solution boosted by our combined development of resources and synchronisation of the delivery of programs.”

“The Box Hill Institute Group is proud to be able to lead on this National TAFE approach and I’m grateful for the support from our colleagues around the country and from the Victorian and Federal governments,” he added.

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