Sierra Group associate unveils unique community initiative to provide free training and job placements
Sri Lanka can produce as many as 200 cyber security experts annually for local needs as well as the global employment market under a new community initiative unveiled by Aion Campus (Pvt) Ltd., a Sierra Group associate.
The Company announced that it has commenced this initiative with the first batch of 20 IT graduates who will receive implant training free of charge at the operational facilities of Aion Cyber Security (Pvt) Ltd., one of Sri Lanka’s leading providers of cyber security and Managed Services.
Described as a capacity building initiative for the industry and a natural extension to its cyber security business, the programme will provide six months of training during which selected candidates will receive a monthly allowance, and thereafter place the trained graduates in lucrative local and international jobs.
Commenting on this nationally-significant CSR initiative, Sierra Group Chairman, Mr Priyantha Perera said: “Sierra has been in business for over 42 years. We have a history of grooming Sri Lankan talent, be it in telecommunication, civil, water, power and other heavy engineering sectors. We have always believed in Sri Lankan talent and that has paid dividends, repeatedly. Given the current local economic outlook, we felt it was time that we focused on aligning the quality of talent in the country with market demand. As cyber security is an emerging area where opportunities surpass the current talent pool, we launched this CSR programme to train local graduates to serve global companies in this sphere.”
He also observed that as per the 2021 Gartner report, the global cyber security market is valued at US$ 150 billion, of which about 50% of the businesses outsource. This creates a greater opportunity for the trainees to tap into.
The IT graduates to be trained will be selected following interviews and an entrance examination after partner university recommendations.
Aion Campus’ training and infrastructure facilities have been developed to accommodate up to 200 trainee graduates annually, with the vision to cater to the growing demand for cyber security professionals in the market, the Company said. A professional training institute delivering industry certifications-targeted training for Sri Lankan youth in the IT and Technology fields, Aion Campus’ primary objective is to make fresh graduates industry-ready and professionally competent.
To this end, Aion Campus works with leading industry professionals and training resources to conduct training programs in facilities such as multipurpose training rooms, learning commons (for collaborative learning), a computer laboratory and a state-of-the-art General Services Operations Center.
Aion Campus’ training partner and investor in the programme Aion Cyber Security offers Artificial Intelligence (AI) based bespoke cyber security management services supported by an expert team consisting of industry leading Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and consultants with more than 15 years of international expertise, and possesses certifications such as ISO 27001 Security Management, Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA), Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) from EC-Council and accreditations from CREST Australia. Its partners in the cyber security space include the Sierra Group, THREAT Intelligence Australia, and DELL Technologies. Aion Cyber Security’s certified General Security Operations Centre operates 24/7 to ensure best-in-class protection and incident response for its clients.
Sri Lanka produces approximately 10,000 graduates in IT and related fields every year, but there are currently about 700,000 cyber security jobs unfulfilled globally and this trend is expected to grow, Mr Perera added. By training local graduates in the highly marketable field of cyber security, Aion hopes to generate gainful employment for the trainees who can eventually earn up to US$ 10,000 a month, generating much-needed foreign exchange for the country, while providing a solution for the existing skills gap for cyber security professionals, both locally and internationally.
The six-month training at the Aion Campus which will be delivered on the job at Aion Cyber Security will include modules on theoretical and practical knowledge on cyber security. On completion of training and upon further assessment, candidates will be offered placements in projects, both locally and globally, for a minimum of one year. In addition to the graduates earning salaries on par with industry standards while at these placements, they will gain the necessary experience and skills in 18 months to be sought after in the cyber industry anywhere in the world, the Company said. The free course will also function as an encouragement and foundation to obtain further international certifications in the subject.
An Aion Campus training programme.