Australia may not be able to fill Coalition's 1,900 proposed cyber jobs

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The federal government’s big-ticket tech item in last night’s annual Budget was its proposed AU$9.9 billion injection into Australia’s cybersecurity and intelligence capabilities. Chief among the objectives of that injection would be the creation of 1,900 jobs at the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) over the next decade.

While Australia’s tech industry has welcomed the increased cybersecurity spending, it’s unclear whether those jobs can be filled due to Australia’s digital skills shortage, RMIT University cybersecurity professor Matt Warren told ZDNet. Due to the ASD being a government agency, only Australian citizens can be hired for these new jobs, which means the federal government and Australian organisations need to develop talent with sovereignty in mind to fill these roles.

“A key issue is that only Australian citizens can work for the Commonwealth and with the current cyber security skills shortage, it may be difficult to fill the 1,900 new security roles,” Warren explained.

“In terms of how the cyber industry works, they poach off each other — so industry poaches off government. So I think part of the discussion is how to develop cybersecurity skills into the future from a sovereignty perspective.”

Read more: Australian Budget 2022 delivers AU$9.9 billion for spicy cyber

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