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ADF launches program to ‘close the gap’ of cyber capabilities

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has officially announced that the launch of the Australian Defence Force Cyber Gap Program is now underway, offering financial support, mentoring and Defence work experience opportunities for cyber students across Australia.

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds has officially announced that the launch of the Australian Defence Force Cyber Gap Program is now underway, offering financial support, mentoring and Defence work experience opportunities for cyber students across Australia.

There are 48 students enrolled in this year’s pilot program, prior to a larger intake of 250 students in 2021.

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Minister for Defence Linda Reynolds said the program, which is run in partnership with the Digital Transformation Agency, represents an important step in diversifying the Defence cyber workforce.

The current intake of students are participating in work experience with Defence this month. This includes a 40-hour self-paced online cyber skills challenge, run by Canberra-based cyber training company Fifth Domain.

Minister Reynolds said, “In a digital world, where connectivity extends to the battlefield, we want the best and brightest cyber operators defending our Defence networks and missions system.”

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The program includes:

  • Generous financial support paid by Defence to cover course fees, text books and allowances for study related-expenses;
  • Two one-week work experience periods with Defence during the 12-month study period;
  • Professional membership to the Australian Computer Society;
  • Regular personalised cyber security career mentoring sessions; and
  • Assistance preparing professional cyber job applications.

“While I hope some of the students will be inspired to apply their cyber skills and knowledge with the Navy, Army or Air Force when they complete their studies, I know the nation will benefit from their expertise no matter which path they choose,” Minister Reynolds added.

The program is open to Australian citizens who are already enrolled in or about to commence cyber-related studies that run for a minimum of 12 months.

The current intake of students are participating in work experience with Defence this month. This includes a 40-hour self-paced online cyber skills challenge, run by Canberra-based cyber training company Fifth Domain.

Enrolments for the 2021 intake will be open in September.

Delivery of this program closely aligns with Australia’s Cyber Security Strategy 2020, released in early August 2020, which commits $1.67 billion investment over 10 years, and outlines a range of initiatives including the growth of the country’s cyber skills pipeline as one of its key recommendations. 

ADF launches program to ‘close the gap’ of cyber capabilities
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