High school students to develop cyber security skills

A new STEM learning program announced today will help Perth high school students start a career in cyber security.

The Federal Liberal Government is funding a Pathways in Technology (P-TECH) site at Joseph Banks Secondary College in Banksia Grove specialising in cyber security.

The P-TECH program offers secondary school students an industry supported pathway into a STEM related post-school qualification, including mentoring, work experience and practical training.

Federal Member for Pearce Christian Porter said demand for cyber security professionals was growing exponentially, bringing with it exciting new opportunities for young people.

“Through the P-TECH program, students at Joseph Banks Secondary College will be well placed to capitalise on this growing demand by developing the necessary skills and experience that they will need to find work in this critically important new field,” Mr Porter said.

“Some will want to go on and further expand their skills through tertiary study, while others will leave school ready and able to pursue employment opportunities in the cyber security sector, including with the school’s industry partners.”

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said the Morrison Government was providing $5.1 million to support 13 P-TECH pilot sites at schools across Australia.

“The P-TECH program gives students exposure to STEM-related industries by working with people from those industries,” Mr Tehan said.

“It creates a strong link between what students learn in a school and the skills they will need to succeed in their chosen career.

“Our Government understands the importance of cyber security to our national interests, our economy and to protect our personal data.

“Encouraging students to pursue careers in cyber security is further supported by the Morrison Government’s $230 million Cyber Security Strategy.”

Joseph Banks Secondary College principal Eleanor Hughes said students participating in P-TECH would be able to make connections with employers and build skills that would open doors to a career in cyber security.

“The support of our industry partners means students can be involved in authentic project-based learning, both at school and in the workplace,” Ms Hughes said.

The Australian Cyber Security Growth Network (AustCyber), part of the Australian Government’s $230 million Cyber Security Strategy, has been instrumental in coordinating the involvement of businesses from the cyber security sector.

CEO of AustCyber Michelle Price said the new P-TECH sites offered a unique opportunity for students to develop the skills they needed to pursue a career in cyber security.

“We need more secondary school students to develop skills aligned to the diverse range of careers cyber security has to offer and the P-TECH initiative is really helping to build a talent pipeline of tertiary educated and work ready young people entering the sector,” Ms Price said.

“The P-TECH cyber security site demonstrates how government, industry and the education sector can come together in partnership on initiatives that aim to develop a cyber smart nation backed by a cyber secure workforce.”

Industry and education partners include:

  • Asterisk Information Security
  • BHP
  • Trustwave, an Optus company
  • Diamond Cyber
  • Kinetic IT, and
  • North Metropolitan TAFE.

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