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Catalyst receives $2.4 million investment to launch Advanced Cyber Education (ACE) training program, powered by Upskill Canada

The investment from Upskill Canada will provide a subsidized opportunity for cybersecurity professionals to excel in specialized roles

November 27, 2023 (Brampton, ON) – Today, Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst is announcing the launch of Advanced Cyber Education (ACE), a 12-week intensive specialization program to upskill cybersecurity professionals to advance into high-demand roles related to six specialization pathways. Individuals in the program will receive training in one of the following areas: Offensive Security; Digital Forensics; Defensive Security & Incident Response; Cloud Security; AI Machine Learning; and Automation for Cybersecurity. 

With direct input from Canadian employers, the Catalyst developed ACE in partnership with our strategic training partner, SANS Institute – a world leader in cybersecurity training. ACE training will be available for learners starting February 2024. 

ACE is powered by Upskill Canada and is part of the first wave of partnership agreements that are taking an industry-oriented approach to supporting Canadian workers. These agreements will help thousands of workers find new careers through skills training and job placement in some of the fastest-growing industries in Canada. 

Upskill Canada’s contribution of $2.4 million to the Catalyst will expedite the placement of cybersecurity professionals into advanced roles, addressing the industry’s urgent demand for skilled talent and propelling individuals into key positions within the rapidly evolving cyber landscape.

Central to the Upskill Canada initiative is the role of community training providers, who work closely with local and national employers to identify precise suites of skills being sought by industry. Equipping workers with these skills will create new career pathways for Canadians and better position Canadian companies to compete both domestically and internationally.


“This important investment from Upskill Canada not only accelerates the advancement of cybersecurity professionals into crucial roles but exemplifies how innovative partnerships between institutions, government and private sector organizations are indispensable for fostering a skilled and talented workforce, and driving innovation and sustained growth in the Canadian economy,” says Steven Liss, Chair of the Board at Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst and Vice-President, Research & Innovation at Toronto Metropolitan University.

“This initiative underscores the Catalyst’s commitment to address the pressing cybersecurity staffing needs of Canadian businesses,” says Rushmi Hasham, Director of Workforce Training Programs at the Catalyst. “Through ACE, we aim to provide advanced training that not only fills critical roles promptly but also fortifies the resilience of organizations across Canada against evolving cyber threats.”

“We’re so proud to formally launch Upskill Canada with our inaugural class of workers and training service providers. This is a big first step – but it’s only the beginning,” says Rhonda Barnet, CEO of Palette Skills, which was chosen by ISED to run the Upskill Canada initiative. “We’re looking forward to working with our supporters in government and industry to upskill many more Canadians, so they can transition into high-demand roles in the modern workforce – and help fast-growing companies achieve their full potential.” 

To learn more about the ACE training program, visit: cybersecurecatalyst.ca/ACE

To learn more about Upskill Canada, visit https://paletteskills.org/upskillcanadaprograms

About Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst:

Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst is Toronto Metropolitan University’s national centre for training, innovation and collaboration in cybersecurity. Headquartered in Brampton, Ontario, and offering programs and services across Canada, the Catalyst empowers individuals and organizations to seize the opportunities and tackle the challenges of cybersecurity. Together with our partners and collaborators, we work to realize a vision of healthy democracies and thriving societies, powered by safe and secure digital technologies.

Through our groundbreaking training and certification programs; unique commercial accelerator for cybersecurity start-ups and scale-ups; first-of-its-kind cyber range; wide-ranging public education programs; and influential policy development platform, the Catalyst helps drive Canada’s global competitiveness in cybersecurity.

About Upskill Canada

Upskill Canada is a national talent platform that helps fast-growing companies access the talent they need to compete and succeed globally while creating new career pathways for workers to rapidly transition into high-demand roles. Upskill Canada will target all regions of the country and support Canadian-based employers, with a particular focus on small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It will focus on strengthening key growth sectors, including digital technology, cybersecurity, agricultural technology, advanced manufacturing, clean technology and biomanufacturing.

Media Contact:

Claire van Nierop
Manager, Communications