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The UK’s worst Internet-connected regions

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The UK’s worst Internet-connected regions


Anything connected to the internet — from smartphones to power plant controllers — can be manipulated. — Photo: © DJC

Despite the advances with fibre optic cables and the roll-out of so-called superfast broadband, many rural areas suffer with poor Internet activity. This is a multi-country problem and the issue affects the U.K., as an example. In the U.K. the aim is for gigabit-capable broadband, made available to all. This means download speeds of at least 1 gigabit-per-second. As things stand, this remains a little way from realisation.

In the U.K., the most poorly served areas for an Internet connection are:

  • Tees Valley and Durham are the least Internet-connected regions.
  • Lincolnshire and Merseyside come in second and third respectively.
  • Southern Scotland and Cornwall also make the list.

The findings have bene put together by Convertr.org based on regional data compiled by the U.K. Office for National Statistics (ONS).

With the area with the weakest connectivity, Tees Valley and Durham sees only 87 percent of residents using the Internet in the last three months. This is nearly ten percentage points lower than areas like Surrey, South London, and Berkshire.

In early 2021, it was announced by the government that 40,000 homes in the Tees Valley would receive upgraded speeds – up to a gigabit connection for some. This was to be realised through the government’s £5 billion ‘Project Gigabit’ scheme. It remains to be seen if this will deliver.

Lincolnshire comes in second, with only 87.6 percent of residents using the Internet in the last three months. Lincolnshire’s statistics sits at nearly three percentage points lower than other East Midlands regions like Derbyshire and Leicestershire, and almost five percentage points lower than the UK average of 92 percent.

Merseyside is in a very close third place, with 87.7 percent of residents using the Internet in the last three months. Liverpool was the area in the region which was the least connected, with only 84 percent of Liverpool residents regularly using the Internet.

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The areas most greatly impacted are:

Region Percentage of people who used Internet in last 3 months
Tees Valley and Durham 87
Lincolnshire 87.6
Merseyside 87.7
Southern Scotland 88.7
Shropshire and Staffordshire 89
West Wales and The Valleys 89.1
Highlands and Islands 89.5
East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire 89.5
Northumberland and Tyne and Wear 89.9
Cornwall and Isles of Scilly 90

Such tables demonstrate why the government needs to accelerate the provision of digital services. Commenting on the findings, a spokesperson from Convertr.org explained to Digital Journal: “With the majority of all regions browsing the web daily, certain people still go months without using it, and it’s clear there is a stark contrast in the quality of broadband in the UK. The government spending billions on superfast speeds shows that there is an incentive to connect the UK through the Internet, and it will be interesting to see how these statistics change throughout the 2020s.”



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LinkedIn Adds New ‘Diversity Nudges’ to Help Recruiters to Expand their Candidate Search Efforts

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LinkedIn Adds New ‘Diversity Nudges’ to Help Recruiters to Expand their Candidate Search Efforts

LinkedIn’s looking to help businesses maximize their approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) with the launch of new prompts in LinkedIn Recruiter which will alert hiring professionals as to when they’re not getting enough gender diversity in their candidate search.

Called ‘Diversity Nudges’, the new prompts will alert managers to an imbalance, and recommend ways to expand the candidate search to address such.

Here’s a closer look at the new Diversity Nudge’ pop-up:

LinkedIn Diversity Nudges

As explained by LinkedIn:

“If gender representation in a given talent pool is unbalanced, a notification will pop up to let you know the Male/Female ratio of that search. You’ll also receive recommendations of Skills, Locations, and Companies filters you can add to your search to improve the gender balance. For example, if you’re hiring for an electrical engineer, Diversity Nudges might suggest adding skills such as data analysis, analytical skills, and Simulink to increase the number of women electrical engineers in your candidate search.

It could be a good way to, at the least, make recruiters aware of such, and to help encourage more thinking and discussion around representation in the process.

Of course, roles should always be awarded on merit, but there’s a growing pool of research which suggests that increasing gender diversity can lead to better outcomes for all types of organizations, while also ensuring greater opportunity for a wider breadth of people through the recruitment process.

Maintaining the right mix, however, can be a challenge, as you can’t make people apply. But maybe, through small ‘nudges’ like this, you can start to shift your focus on how you recruit, and how you can broaden your candidate pool with respect to key elements.

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In addition to these new prompts, LinkedIn’s also adding a new way for companies to highlight their values and organizational commitments.

“Organizations will be able to add a dedicated section to their Company Page highlighting their commitments in areas such as DEI, Environmental Sustainability, Social Impact, Career Growth and Learning, and Work-Life Balance.”

The new option will enable companies to add an ‘Our Featured Commitments’ section to their ‘About’ page, where they’ll be able to showcase reports, certifications, articles, videos, etc.

“Members can easily view these commitments and the documentation provided by each company to assess authenticity. Members will also be able to search for companies with relevant commitments in their job search.”

That could be another way to help candidates find workplaces more aligned to their beliefs and concerns, which could ultimately help to enhance their professional experience.

Finally, LinkedIn’s also making several LinkedIn Learning courses related to diversity, equity and inclusion free for members from now until September 8th.

Those courses are:

  1. Recruit Diverse Talent and Promote Equitable Hiring
  2. Manage Diverse and Inclusive Teams
  3. Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for All
  4. Create an Inclusive Work Culture

Add this to the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses which are also free this month, and you have a wide range of ways to up your skills and knowledge, and update your processes in line with evolving best practices.

Expanding your candidate pool is a key consideration for modern workforces, but it can often be challenging to actually do that, based on historical norms, your existing audience, inherent bias, etc. These new prompts could be a handy addition to the process, helping to raise awareness at the intake level, and it’s could be a valuable addition to LinkedIn’s recruitment tool. 

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