The Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence (AMTCE), established by the Louth Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) has just launched a substantially funded national cyber security training programme to support industry 4.0.
AMTCE say the programme will combat the current shortage of skilled cyber security personnel and the need to develop a strong and coordinated national ‘ecosystem’ against the backdrop of rising cyber threats,
The AMTCE’s ‘Cyber for Advanced Manufacturing Ireland’ suite of programmes were officially launched at the LMETB/ AMTCE event ‘Strategic Initiatives for Advanced Manufacturing in our National Cyber Security Ecosystem’ at Buswells Hotel in Dublin, by Ossian Smyth, Minister of State for Public Expenditure and at the Department of the Environment with Martin O’Brien, chief executive of LMETB and founder of AMTCE and independent Senator Gerard Craughwell.
The objectives are to increase cyber security skills, public awareness, support job creation and the indigenous cyber security industry by creating an interconnected ecosystem.
It is hoped the programme will help Ireland to become a global cyber security leader and ties into the proposed establishment of a European Cyber Shield to protect, detect, defend, and deter, as outlined the recent EU International Cyber security Forum in April 2023.
Cyber Ireland’s recent report estimates that Ireland’s cyber security cluster could support up to €2.5bn in annual GVA (Gross Value Added) and the employment of over 17,000 cyber security professionals in the sector by 2030, if the right environment and supports are in place.
The AMTCE programmes say they will adopt a multi-facetted approach, generating an Irish talent pipeline to meet the workforce gap of more than 3.4 million* cyber security positions globally. The AMTCE, which is supported by SOLAS and Enterprise Ireland will also be delivering a cyber skills model that may be utilised by other Education and Training Boards.
Speaking at the launch, Martin O’Brien, chief executive of LMETB and the founder of the AMTCE, said:
“Ever increasing levels of connectivity are now exposing factory systems to cyber security risks and manufacturing now accounts for almost 25% of all cyber-attacks. A recent report by KMPG highlighted the fact that nearly 1 in 5 organisations have no factory IT cyber security awareness training to improve the security culture across organisations.
“This is a clear deficit that needs to be addressed urgently. I’m delighted to announce today that LMETB and the AMTCE are moving to address the very real needs of industry in this area.
“Training has a key role to play in helping the advanced manufacturing sector gain the benefits of Industry 4.0 while mitigating the risks. LMETB and AMTCE provide access and delivery of cyber security related training programmes to provide the necessary skills and knowledge to improve and develop the cyber security ‘IQ’ of Ireland’s advanced manufacturing workforce,” Martin O’Brien continued.
The Estonian ambassador Kairi Kunka was also one of the speakers at the event. She hosted a visit by the AMTCE team to her country as Estonia is ranked among the leading nations in the world for cyber security.
Independent Senator Gerard Craughwell said:
“The cyber-attack on the HSE was a wakeup call for Ireland. Our citizens must quickly understand that our nation’s cyberspace will be exploited at all levels by rogue states and criminals from home and abroad. It was surprising to see how quickly the HSE story was consigned to history.
“Many seemed to accept that it was just one of those things we must learn to live with. Clearly cyberattacks must never become ‘just one of those things’ we must all accept that we have a role in defending ourselves and the state against such attacks.
“Most see cyber security as a job for government, the Gardaí or the NCSC, few see themselves as having a role. If we are going to have any chance at limiting the damage a cyber-attack could unleash on our country, its economy, and its citizens we are all going to have to up our game in cyber awareness.
“While there are many programmes running in the higher education sector focusing mainly on research, there is a need to focus on the entry level skills. LMETB’s chief executive Martin O’Brien is a leader and innovator in the further education sector. When approached about establishing the first Cyber IT/OT training programme at LMETB’s Advanced Manufacturing Training Centre of Excellence, Martin took the view it should be world class.
“It was agreed that Estonia was a good example to look at when it came to cyber and it was fantastic to have the assistance of Kairi Kunka, the Estonian ambassador to Ireland in this regard. She put in place an agenda for LMETB representatives and I to visit Estonia. The delegation got to see the CCDCOE centre, the cyber range CR14, and Tallinn Technological University.
“Thanks to the ambassador and our own Irish Defence Forces Representative Commandant Ronan O’Flaherty, the LMETB delegation returned to Ireland with a more informed vision. The launch of AMTCE’s cybersecurity programmes are the realisation of that vision.
“Other ETBs may wish to become involved in delivering similar cyber-awareness programs. To ensure continued FDI, Ireland must become the go-to country for operating in a cyber safe environment,” Senator Craughwell continued.
The substantially funded courses available under the AMTCE’s cyber security programme are open to individuals as well as employees of organisations.
The AMTCE cyber security programme will focus strongly on supporting industry in all sectors to identify cyber risk and their potential impacts on the physical assets, software, and data of an organisation.
The AMTCE utilises outside industry experts for its courses, to ensure that the quality and focus of its training is always cutting edge.
AMTCE will also create multiple entry points for people interested in starting a career in cyber security, people looking to upskill or change career.
One such example is the AMTCE’s Cyber security Apprenticeship launched in 2022 in association with Fastrack into Information Technology (FIT). These apprentices are all employed by industry and are part of the Earn and Learn Generation Apprenticeship initiative.
To encourage an interest in cyber security as a career in primary and post-primary students, AMTCE will create various entry points and pathways.
The AMTCE’s ‘Cyber for Advanced Manufacturing Ireland’ programmes begin in September 2023, for more details, visit www.amtce.ie