Industry-wide collaboration and the development of a brand-new Certificate IV and Advanced Diploma in cyber security could be the answer to Australia’s blaring cyber specialist shortage.

On Tuesday it was announced the Canberra Institute of Technology (CIT) and Victorian TAFE course provider Box Hill Institute will partner with TAFE organisations from around the country to lead a new Cyber Security National Program.

The program aims to create a standardised cyber security training solution across Australia.

“Through this partnership the TAFE network will share training resources, programs and the strengths of teachers and facilities across the country to ensure we have a coordinated approach to training cyber security experts across Australia,” said the Minister for Higher Education, Training and Research, Meegan Fitzharris.

“Ultimately this new approach will ensure students have the opportunity to work and study so they can move into these jobs of the future sooner, helping to address this looming skills shortage.”

Late last year, ACS outlined the “looming skills shortage” in Cybersecurity: Threats, Challenges and Opportunities.

The report highlighted the significant increase in demand for cyber security roles, pointing out that job advertisements for cyber security roles had increased by 57% in the 12 months prior.

It considered five core pillars for Australia’s cyber security readiness – with Education and Awareness the first of these.

Minister Fitzharris elaborated on this, saying that Australia now needs 11,000 cyber security roles filled by 2020.

Central to the standardisation of cyber security training is the creation of Box Hill Institute’s new Certificate IV and Advanced Diploma in cyber security – the first of its kind in Australia.

In September, ACS unveiled new Certified Professional (Cyber Security) and Certified Technologist (Cyber Security) certifications.

CIT will join Box Hill Institute in delivering the diploma, alongside its pre-existing Graduate Certificate of Networking and Cyber Security.

Starting Term 1 2018, the program will look to attract industry partners to enable the creation of high-quality cyber security graduates.

“The vocational education sector here in Canberra is innovative and has the ability to work closely with industry to address skills shortages,” added Fitzharris.

The Victorian Government has devoted $4.7 million to Box Hill Institute to support the development of the program.

Box Hill Institute Group CEO, Norman Gray, expressed his support for the new collaborative approach.

“Within our own jurisdictions, TAFEs are able to produce excellent training results. But united, we have the opportunity to produce something really special,” he said.

“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 said.