OzTech: Aussie vs. Kiwi 5G speeds; Aussie enterprises dependent on AI; Latest Australian IT hiring and skills efforts

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

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Australia vs. New Zealand: Who has the fastest 5G speed?

New Zealand has the fastest 5G download speed, reaching 253Mbps according to findings from consultancy Opensignal, while Australia comes right after New Zealand at 224Mbps. This is according to data from 10 countries across Asia.

When it comes download speeds in peak hours, Australia is much faster than New Zealand, with 597Mbps being in the top three of the tally, while New Zealand takes No. 7 at 459Mbps.

When it comes to upload speeds, New Zealand comes out ahead again; it takes the No. 6 spot at 20Mbps while Australia takes the No. 8 spot at 15Mbps.

The report also notes that Australia is one of two more challenging markets in which to deploy mobile networks but yet still does well in general terms. Australia, a vast market, scores a creditable 12.2% for 5G availability and 3.6 score for 5G reach, according to Opensignal.

Australian organisations are already dependent on AI, but COVID-19 concerns recede

Australian organisations are already dependent on artificial intelligence to function effectively, according to 86% of C-level executives being surveyed by Accenture. The report also found that all executives surveyed—140 in total—worry at some level about security breaches and frauds affecting AI systems.

Accenture also spoke to consumers (960 in Australia) and found that only 22% trust how organisations are implementing AI, but 82% say organisations must be held accountable for their misuse of AI.

While the report focused on the metaverse, 74% of Australians have never heard of it or don’t know what it means. Even so, 93% of local executives are convinced it will have a positive impact on their organisations.

More importantly, the report found that only 3% of Australian executives said the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt their organisation’s business plans and operations.

Latest Australian IT recruiting and skills efforts

The never-ending quest for IT talent continues in Australia, as it does throughout the world.

Sydney wants to attract more tech talent

The New South Wales government has made three recommendations to ramp up the state’s attraction and retention of tech talent, among others. In its report “Global Talent Wars: Learning from locations that attract the best”, the state’s Innovation and Productivity Council recommends to:

  • Embed attracting and retaining global talent in Investment NSW. For this, the report recommends developing a clear picture of the skills that will be targeted. Key industry strategies should help identifying such skills, as well as the experience and international connections required to support economic growth. It also suggests the delivery of programs in key regions to entice talent to move to Sydney and the development of connections of local expatriates with interested individuals to raise awareness about the state and city.
  • Better promote and support Sydney and New South Wales as a destination for global talent. This includes encouraging people to move to Sydney but also supporting with their needs to get there and settling in.
  • Work with and advocate to the Australian government on ways of attracting talent to Australia generally and New South Wales specifically.

Paid training for Year 12 students

HCL Technologies has launched its TechBee training program in Australia for Year 12 students who have graduated and for high school leavers who have completed Year 12 from 2018 onwards who studied maths in high school.

Candidates interested in joining the program will first attend a three-month foundation training on IT essentials, business ethics, and communication. After the successful completion of this first step, candidates can continue on the program with some of Australia’s largest companies as an intern for nine months with job-based training. The students are required to spend at least 20 weeks on site and will receive $2,500 a month for the nine-month period. Those studying at university will receive support for some university fees.

At the end of the program, students will get job opportunities with HCL Technologies. The program is focused on applications development, software engineering, coding, test engineering, analysis, products and application, detecting bugs and running diagnostics of software applications, research and development, design engineering, product and application design, infrastructure management, web server development, process automation, and security policy implementation.

HCL has not set any limit to the number of trainees it will train but said it plans to train “hundreds of students” in 2022 and scale up in the coming years.

CyberSteps supports cybersecurity education across Australia

The not-for-profit charity advancing computer education Grok Academy has launched a new phase of a project called CyberSteps, which aims to facilitate access to cybersecurity learning. This is done by a series of free online activities or challenges that help equip teachers to pass on cybersecurity knowledge to students but can also be taken by the students themselves whenever they want.

The program, which is in a second phase, has already seen 170,000 students taking part of the activities, which start with basic topics such as knowing not to reuse passwords, to use passphrases, and two-factor authentication to more complex knowledge such as introductory cryptography, web application security, and network security.

The program has support of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resource through the Cyber Security Partnership Fund and the Australian Signals Directorate. It also counts with the big four banks—ANZ, Commonwealth, Westpac, and NAB—and Amazon Web Services, British Telecom, and Canberra-based Fifth Domain.

On top of the financial support, the banks help advertise the program and the technology companies help develop the challenges and record the instructional videos available as part of the challenges.

The intent is to evolve as the national curriculum evolves and offer new challenges, with the next one planned in digital forensics.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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