Kirra Services launches Indigenous ICT Cyber Regional Employment Pathway Program

Kirra Services launches Indigenous ICT Cyber Regional Employment Pathway Program

The aim is to provide practical cyber training courses and internships for Indigenous contractors.

Brad Nagle (Kirra Services).

Brad Nagle (Kirra Services).

Credit: Kirra Services

Canberra-based Kirra Services has launched an Indigenous ICT Cyber Regional Employment Pathway Program in an effort to help curb the cyber skills shortage in the market. 

After attracting substantial co-funding from the federal government’s Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund, the pathway program will specifically focus on regional areas and Indigenous people as well as being open to all Australians. 

The aim is to provide practical cyber training courses and internships using Kirra’s industry and vendor network. 

Kirra Services managing director Brad Nagle said it was aiming to build a grassroots program for regional candidates that are either looking to make their entry into the cyber industry, change their career path or returning to work. 

“The program that we're looking to develop is based around removing the barrier of entry and starting with the fundamentals, giving people skills to be able to move into either a government or a corporate job that they currently don’t have a background in,” Nagle said.

“We're looking to do some work in the Indigenous communities as well with short workshops around fundamentals and security awareness.

“The end objective is to find students permanent employment in the cyber ICT industry.”

The pathway program will be designed to provide culturally appropriate support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to overcome barriers to gaining and maintaining ICT cyber employment and will individually tailor the support required, whether it be certified training, on the job support or mentoring to help in the transition to employment.

Initially, the training will be focused around two streams – entry level cyber analyst roles and intermediate level for existing ICT consultants upskilling into cyber security.

Courses will predominantly run remotely, allowing students from regional Australia to participate.

Kirra has acquired co-funding to support two full-time staff members including a program manager and recruitment consultant to get the program up and running and engage part-time support, trainers and mentors.

The first year of funding will be dedicated to setting up the entity with the aim of having an intake of 30 students in the first year with subsequent years taking in more groups.

Nagle said the opportunity exists for a holistic process from talent identification, connections to community, training, internships, mentorship and eventual placement for Indigenous contractors. This will include managing the security clearance and recruitment processes.

The program will be made up of multiple technological modules and workplace readiness.

It will also look at working with some of the universities such as Canberra Institute of Technology to gauge student interest.

“We've worked with a number of vendors such as VMware and Microsoft to be able to obtain some of the training materials and some of the other parts of the program will be around work experience,” Nagle said. 

“We're looking to get some of the vendors on board to be able to give people exposure either on-site within a client site or in the office with some of their pro services teams.”

The Supply Nation Certified Indigenous business service provider recently partnered with the Dr Steve Foundation in supplying laptops and organising video conferencing capability into Indigenous communities.

This involved the Portable Aboriginal Communication Environment (PACE) program, which is a mobile facility that aims to enable Aboriginals in remote areas to gain access to reliable and fast internet.

The program will also be used for the cyber regional ICT training pathway program.

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