Microsoft and TupuToa team up again to boost diversity in cybersecurity

 |   Microsoft New Zealand News Centre

Microsoft grant aims to build career pathways into cybersecuirty for Māori and Pacific Island peoples

New Zealand, 26 May, 2022 – Microsoft New Zealand and TupuToa have today announced a new partnership to co-develop a cyber security employment programme specifically aimed at creating more diversity in our cybersecurity sector.

Microsoft has selected New Zealand as one of 23 countries to receive funding under a global initiative targeted at closing the cybersecurity skills gap, recognising the increased risk to local businesses from cyber threats as well as the need to address diversity within our cybersecurity industry.

“Cybersecurity continues to be a significant threat for governments, businesses and individuals around the world. From supply chain disruptions to ransomware attacks, cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated and the threat landscape more diverse. These cybersecurity challenges are compounded by a workforce shortage; there simply aren’t enough people with the cybersecurity skills needed to fill open jobs in New Zealand. In fact, recent Microsoft research found demand for skills in the cyber security sector grew 22% in New Zealand last year alone,” said Vanessa Sorenson, Managing Director at Microsoft.

Under the new agreement, TupuToa, a social enterprise focussed on growing Māori and Pacific leaders for a greater Aotearoa, will receive significant funding to work alongside partners including Microsoft and other public and private sector organisations to establish a cybersecurity training programme for Māori and Pacific Island communities. This will be designed to ensure participants are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to become security professionals.

Tauira will be further supported in their training with wraparound pastoral care from TupuToa, including access to further TupuToa programmes such as Kōkiri Workshops (work readiness workshops) and opportunities to access financial literacy training. In addition, TupuToa will work with Microsoft and other tech partners to support trainees into roles.

“We’re really excited to be the chosen partner with Microsoft on this mahi. We have a proven track record of providing training and experience to more than 1,000 Māori and Pacific Island peoples, and helping them take up and thrive in full time roles in technology. With this new programme, we’ll be able to offer even more tauira pathways into technology careers, and help make Aotearoa a safer place for all New Zealanders at the same time,” said Anne Fitisemanu, CEO of TupuToa.