A cyber security training centre has opened in St Albans in a bid to tackle shortages in Australia’s cyber security workforce.

The centre, funded by Victoria University and cyber security vendor Cisco, is based at the university’s St Albans campus.

According to VU, the cyber security industry will need an extra 18,000 workers by 2026.

It said lack of trained staff had the potential to cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars.

Victoria University deputy vice-chancellor Grant Dreher said the centre would help address the demand for trained professionals and provide more career paths for people living in the western suburbs.

“We are enormously proud to partner with Cisco to help address a workforce shortage in an industry with a vast future demand for trained professionals,” he said.

“The rapid evolution of cyber crimes around the world shows that cyber security is not just an Australian problem – it’s a global problem for companies to tackle, using a high-quality workforce with the right skills and training.”

 

The centre features a cyber security operations centre with a simulated working environment, allowing students to take on real-time roles as data hackers or cyber-savvy protectors.

There are also two immersive computer labs and a video-conferencing classroom.

Cisco Australia and New Zealand vice-president Ken Boal said the centre would help support Australia’s digital transformation.

“We are excited by the prospects of the cyber security training centre to support the skills of the emerging workforce, help create jobs and enhance Australia’s global economic competitiveness,” he said.

“Partnering with academia to accelerate growth in the cyber security industry will create more opportunities for Australia to grow and prosper in the digital era.”