OzTech: Australian ICT jobs aplenty; Aussie quantum computing advances; Rural broadband funds

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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Australia’s search for IT professionals continues to grow

Jobs portal Seek’s latest employment report reveal a continued growth on the search for ICT talent in Australia.

Following an 8% increase in ICT job advertisements in February 2021, March recorded a 7.5% increase. Science and technology job advertisements also saw a 5% increase, after a 6% growth in February.

According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, the unemployment rate in Australia decreased 0.2% to 5.6% in March. But the ABS expects some people may lose or change jobs because of the end of JobKeeper, the COVID-19 jobs-assistance programme, on 28 March.

On a broader note, Seek noted an increase of 75.1% in national jobs advertised compared to March 2020. Im fact, March 2021 had the highest number of jobs posted in a single month in Seek’s more than 20 years of history.

What Seek also found is that fewer people are applying for jobs, which could be seen as a positive result of there more people being employed.

University of Sydney student helps solve common quantum computing problem

A science undergraduate at University of Sydney found a way to increase the ability to reduce a common quantum computing problem.

Pablo Bonilla Ataides said he was asked to look at some commonly used error-correcting code to see if he could improve it. “By flipping half of the quantum switches, or qubits, in our design, we found we could effectively double our ability to suppress errors,” he said.

The results of his study, co-authored by Steve Flammia, caught the attention of Yale University and Duke University in the United States and of Amazon Web Services (AWS). The cloud giant will feature the results of the study in its error-correction techniques as it develops its quantum hardware. Flammia has also moved from the University of Sydney to the AWS Centre for Quantum Computing.

Transport for NSW tests quantum computing to tackle Sydney’s transport issues

The New South Wales government announced a partnership with Q-CTRL, a spinoff from the University of Sydney Quantum Science Group, to trial ways to solve Sydney’s transport problems using the university’s quantum computer.

The initiative is part of the Future Transport Technology Roadmap, with the initiative’s goal to look at issues including updating schedules in real time if there is crowding on the network, transport network management and congestion.

New South Wales’s minister from transport and roads, Andrew Constance, said future applications could include mapping all transport modes and crowd movements simultaneously in real time to update schedules and see trains, buses, ferries, trams, and motorways ‘talking to each other’.

Rural Australia benefits from $180M connectivity program 

More than 80 rural communities are set to benefit from a co-investment into digital connectivity of more than $180 million.  

Under the Regional Connectivity Program, $90 million will be used to fund solutions to digital connectivity issues in the regions through a range of mobile and broadband services. Contributions from funding recipients, from state, territory, and local governments, from regional businesses, and from community development organisations are expected to make up the remaining $90 million. 

Grants range from $80,500 for targeted mobile capacity upgrades in small towns to $8,750,000 for the deployment of large-scale fixed wireless broadband networks across entire regions. 

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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