This will come as a result of persons being trained in the field when Barbados pilots the Cyber Nations Training Initiative, a programme created in Canada with the bold mission of training 100,000 people from the Caribbean and African countries as cybersecurity operations analysts, incident responders, and cyber literacy coordinators.
The pilot will be rolled out by the Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training (METVT) in January 2023, with an online cohort of 200 Barbadians, in the first instance. Learners interested in upskilling and joining the cybersecurity industry will embark on an intensive four-month online-learning programme, that culminates with a Cyber Security Analyst certificate from George Brown College, a fully accredited Canadian learning institution.
Over 200 Barbadians will soon get the opportunity to work in the area of cybersecurity with companies in Canada and across the rest of the world.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, speaking at a recent forum, noted that the programme, to be financed by the Student Revolving Loan Fund (SRLF), would provide lucrative opportunities for Barbadians.
She said: “It is intended to train 1,500 people in the next 18 months and the jobs starting will be at a minimum of CND $60,000, a year, per student who successfully complete the programme…. These are real opportunities, global jobs but living in Barbados.”
Successful graduates will be matched with participating organisations for lucrative employment opportunities. The Coalition of Innovative Leaders Against Racism (CILAR) is a key partner that will also play a role in helping learners identify job placement opportunities.
The Government of Barbados is the first country in the Caribbean to launch the Cyber Nations Training Initiative created by Canadian cybersecurity firms – SDOCCA Cyber Inc. and Protexxa.
The initiative offers multi-dimensional solutions. Learners are provided with laptops, internet hotspots, online instructors, and financing is available through the SRLF. Interested Barbadians can get more information and apply for the program at www.cyber-nations.com/Barbados before the January 13, 2023 application deadline.
With 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs worldwide, the programme aims to transform the Caribbean into a cybersecurity hub.
According to the FBI, cybercrime has quadrupled since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with cyberattacks happening every 39 seconds. At the same time, the cybersecurity industry is in the middle of a multi-dimensional crisis, spurred by the increasing prevalence of cybercrime and a global shortage of cybersecurity talent.
“With the growing number of cybersecurity vulnerabilities, there are not enough cyber professionals to protect the five billion people currently using the internet,” said Claudette McGowan, the creative mind behind the Cyber Nations Training Initiative.
“The Government of Barbados is tackling this problem with an innovative solution that not only aims to certify those interested in a future role in the cybersecurity industry, but also helps to put those skills to work immediately.”