Digital upskilling: IBM to retrain 3,000 veterans on cybersecurity

The skills investment prepares veterans to succeed in the digital economy

Digital upskilling: IBM to retrain 3,000 veterans on cybersecurity

Veterans in Australia may soon be joining the digital frontlines: upholding the country’s cybersecurity.

More than 3,000 veterans, former defence personnel and their families will have the opportunity to learn new digital skills through the SkillsBuild initiative of IBM and the advocacy group Soldier On.

IBM launched the free online learning platform to help participants acquire skills in the areas of computer security, cloud administration, data management and web development, among others.

Read more: The perfect cybersecurity applicant is likely a veteran

SkillsBuild will also “connect veterans to workplaces [and] jobs,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said during the launch of the initiative, which forms part of the Veterans Employment Programme.

IBM’s skills investment in Australia can “equip today’s veterans to be successful in a digital economy,” Morrison said.

Cybersecurity skills gap
For its part, the federal government will also invest $1.6bn into cybersecurity initiatives over the next decade. “We need to protect our economy, working with all the businesses in our economy who share in that responsibility,” the prime minister said earlier this month.

SkillsBuild hopes to address Australia’s digital skills gap, specifically in cybersecurity.

“There is an urgent need to redeploy and reskill the workforce within Australia – particularly with technical and professional skills – and SkillsBuild goes a long way to addressing this need,” said Katrina Troughton, managing director of IBM Australia and New Zealand.

“Investment in future skills is vital to ensure the country’s ongoing digital literacy,” she said.

Read more: Is your company safe from this cybersecurity flaw?

The upskilling program, which is also part of Soldier On’s Pathways Program, will allow members of the defence community to transition out of the military and into high-demand sectors such as IT.

“As a mid-career reskilling initiative, our partnership with Soldier On will help many Australians build new skills and redeploy existing ones, pivoting to a new career path that will help address the huge skills gap we have in cybersecurity in particular, but also in digital skills more generally,” Troughton said.

Participants will help solve real-world challenges by taking on special projects, and be mentored by IBM talent who will guide them throughout their training, career planning and job search.

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