Microsoft NZ to launch employment programme to bridge cybersecurity skills gap

It comes as threats on cybersecurity emerge across the world

Microsoft NZ to launch employment programme to bridge cybersecurity skills gap

Microsoft New Zealand is partnering with TupuToa in a bid to expand and diversify the cybersecurity workforce in the wake of cybersecurity threats.

In an announcement, both organisations will be co-developing a cybersecurity employment programme as part of Microsoft's global initiative close cybersecurity skills gap in 23 countries, including New Zealand.

Under the agreement, TupuToa will receive funding from Microsoft's global initiative so it can establish a cybersecurity training programme for Māori and Pacific Island communities.

It is designed to ensure that participants will be equipped with knowledge and skills to become security professionals, according to the announcement, where the participating students will also receive access to TupuToa's work readiness workshops as well as opportunities on financial literacy training.

TupuToa, a social enterprise focused on growing Māori and Pacific leaders and provided training to over 1,000 individuals from these peoples, will also be working with Microsoft and other tech partners to support the trainees into their roles.

Read more: Microsoft CEO: Don't abuse workplace 'power dynamic'

Anne Fitisemanu, chief executive officer of TupuToa, said in a statement that they are excited to be Microsoft's chosen partner for the programme.

"With this new programme, we'll be able to offer even more tauira pathways into technology careers and help make Aotearoa a safer place for all New Zealanders at the same time," said Fitisemanu.

The programme came as cybersecurity emerges as a "significant threat for governments, businesses, and individuals" across the world, according to Vanessa Sorenson, managing director at Microsoft.

"From supply chain disruptions to ransomware attacks, cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated and the threat landscape more diverse," said Sorenson. "These cybersecurity challenges are compounded by a workforce shortage; there simply aren't enough people with the cybersecurity skills needed to fill open jobs in New Zealand."

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