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Regional NSW students to become the cyber experts of tomorrow

An online careers workshop will give school students in regional NSW an insight into the cyber security jobs of the future, as part of a NSW Government push to inspire the next generation of cyber security experts.

Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said Lithgow High School will host the first online workshop of the NSW Cyber Ambassador Program, since the program transitioned to the NSW Government’s newly announced NSW Cyber Hub.

“Cyber security is a rapidly growing sector where demand for workers outstrips supply right across Australia, and this shortage is only expected to increase in coming years,” Mr Ayres said.

“This program will help tackle the need for skilled workers by inspiring young people to join a rapidly evolving and exciting industry.”

The NSW Cyber Ambassador Program, previously run by the NSW Cyber Security Innovation Node, co-funded by AustCyber and the NSW Government, has delivered 86 activities, reaching more than 3,000 students, councils, parents and teachers.

“With the NSW Cyber Hub running the program we have high ambitions to expand its reach in line with the 2021 NSW Cyber Security Strategy,” Mr Ayres said.

The NSW Cyber Ambassadors Program will see leading experts from across the sector volunteer their time to help students understand the opportunities the industry can offer.

“With more than 200 cyber security companies already based in NSW, the program is about showcasing the unique opportunities the sector can offer to tomorrow’s workforce,” Mr Ayres said.

“Technology and innovation will be key to strengthening the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why it’s important to shine a spotlight on growth industries such as cyber security.”

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole said it’s great to see these workshops coming to the Central West.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for students in the Central West to get a taste for this rapidly growing sector and the exciting job prospects on offer,” Mr Toole said.

Through the program’s workshops, students will hear from Commander Robert Smilie, Director Navy Cyber and Space at the Royal Australian Navy, along with other experts from across a range of fields.

“Being an Ambassador has allowed me to pass on my passion for cybersecurity to the next generation. There are so many great opportunities in the sector, and I think it is such a great field for anyone to get into,” Mr Smilie said.

The NSW Cyber Ambassador Program is just one part of the government’s vision to turn the state into the leading cyber security destination in the Asia Pacific region.

Other initiatives, such as the launch of the sector-wide cyber security strategy and the establishment of a Bathurst Vulnerability Management Centre showcase the NSW Government’s commitment to making NSW one of the world’s cybersecurity capitals.

On August 26, Lithgow High School students will hear from:

  • Commander Robert Smilie - Director Navy Cyber and Space, Royal Australian Navy
  • Alana Maurushat - Professor Cyber Security and Behaviour, Western Sydney University
  • John Barnett - IT Industry Lead, TAFE NSW

Investment NSW is working to deliver the aims of the 2021 NSW Cyber Security Strategy to accelerate the growth of the cyber security ecosystem in NSW and develop a skilled and dynamic workforce to take on the jobs of the future. To find out more, visit: https://www.digital.nsw.gov.au/transformation/cyber-security/cyber-security-strategy.