Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has announced that Microsoft will make an additional $5 billion investment in Australia, helping our nation become a world-leading digital economy by significantly investing in skills and training to help equip a new generation of Australians for the jobs and opportunities of the future.
This Microsoft investment will enable expansion of its Australian hyperscale cloud computing and artificial intelligence infrastructure over the next two years. This will grow its local data centre footprint from 20 to 29 sites in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.
This will position Australia as a global leader in cloud computing, with demand expected to almost double by 2026.
A new Microsoft Data Centre Academy will open in 2024 in NSW in partnership with TAFE NSW, focusing on building applied data centre skills.
The academy will provide alternative employment pathways into Australia’s tech sector, with a focus on under-represented groups including women and Indigenous Australians. The new data centres will use low-carbon materials during construction as well renewable energy.
Microsoft has committed to support programs to train an additional 300,000 Australians through its global skills program. These programs are designed to help Australians gain the skills and capabilities to thrive in the digital economy.
Microsoft will also collaborate with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) on the Microsoft-ASD Cyber Shield to harden Australia from cyber threats to individuals, businesses and governments.
The Microsoft-ASD Cyber Shield will improve joint capability to identify, prevent and respond to cyber threats, which are growing in both frequency and severity. It will be one of the first steps that we are taking as part of the 2023-2030 Cyber-Security Strategy, to become a world-leading cyber secure and resilient nation by 2030.
The Prime Minister welcomed the landmark investment while in the United States, with science and technology a focus of the official visit.
Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:
“This is a major investment in the skills and workers of the future, which will help Australia to strengthen our position as a world-leading economy.
“A priority for my Government is to ensure all Australians benefit from economic growth. This means that we need to provide the skills to enable Australians to succeed in the jobs of the future.
“A strong economy requires protection from cyber threats. I welcome Microsoft’s collaboration with the Australian Signals Directorate to enhance cybersecurity for households and business.”
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic:
“This is a big deal for our tech sector.
“Australia is one of the world’s most advanced users of cloud technologies and this investment will keep us at the forefront.
“This significant investment from Microsoft recognises the Albanese Government’s focus on supporting and growing our tech sector, including our target of 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030."