Feds invest $660,000 in cybersecurity training for young displaced workers in Peel Region

Two people receiving computer training

Through FedDev Ontario, the Government of Canada has earmarked nearly $660,000 CAD to fund the creation of a new cybersecurity training program for young Peel Region workers who have been displaced by COVID-19.

The Peel Region Young Worker Cybersecurity Training Program will be delivered by the Brampton, Ontario-based Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst (RCC), a Ryerson University-owned not-for-profit cybersecurity hub. Participants will receive training in cybersecurity fundamentals, security essentials, and cybersecurity incident handling, and graduates will earn two industry certifications.

The program aims to create up to 20 jobs and provide talent for Canada’s cybersecurity sector.

The program, which targets workers aged 18 to 30, aims to create up to 20 jobs and provide talent for Canada’s cybersecurity industry by helping participants find full-time, entry-level employment in the sector.

“By leveraging expertise from our post-secondary institutions, like Ryerson University, and drawing from a strong pipeline of Canadian talent, our government is ensuring that as we find ways to grow and recover in the wake of COVID-19, our workers have the right skills to seize the opportunities of this new economy and help protect Canadians’ privacy and security online,” said Mélanie Joly, Canada’s minister of economic development.

The new 33-week program is set to begin May 10, and run until December 2021. RCC aims to recruit “high-potential” learners from Peel Region with a high school diploma who can speak and write effectively in English. People without a cybersecurity background are eligible to apply.

Residents of Peel Region (Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon) who are unemployed, working part-time, or underemployed—doing work that does not align with their skills and education—are encouraged to apply.

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The fresh funding follows an initial $30 million in public and private investment announced in June 2019 to fund the creation of the RCC, to help address Canada’s shortage of skilled cybersecurity workers. This support consisted of $10 million from FedDev Ontario, $10 million from Rogers Communications, $5 million from RBC, and $5 million from the City of Brampton.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, RCC has bolstered its cybersecurity training efforts. Earlier this month, RCC launched Catalyst Cyber Range, a new testing and training platform. Last summer, RCC unveiled Catalyst Cyber Camp, a virtual cybersecurity program for youth in the Brampton community.

The federal government expects RCC-led projects will graduate 600 cybersecurity professionals in total by 2023.

Photo by Kampus Production via Pexels

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.