Google to train two million Europeans in digital skills

Search giant promises to double the amount of people it will train across the continent

Participants taking part in the Google Digital Garage at National Digital Week 2015 in Skibbereen, Co Cork. Photograph: Emma Jervis

Participants taking part in the Google Digital Garage at National Digital Week 2015 in Skibbereen, Co Cork. Photograph: Emma Jervis

 

Some 14,000 individuals and busineses in Ireland participated in Google-led training programmes to boost their digital skills last year, the company said as it gave a commitment to double the amount of people it will train in Europe this year to two million.

Last February the search engine giant pledged to train one million Europeans in crucial digital skills as it promised to invest an additional €25 million to broaden its training programme across the continent, which included plans to build a Europe-wide hub to support small businesses.

The company said it now plans to double its outreach programme due to its popularity.

In Ireland, Google’s training initiative includes working with content creators, start-ups, established SMEs, trade organisations, NGOs, teachers and young people to enhance their digital skills.

Monthly business breakfasts for SMEs, sectoral training programmes for businesses in the retail, food and tourism sectors, the development and funding of post-graduate and certificate programmes in computer skills from Trinity College for teachers, a nationwide ‘Call to Code’ competition for students and the delivery of digital skills seminars during National Digital Week are just some of the initiatives undertaken by Google locally over the past year.

“We want all Europeans, regardless of age, background or location to be able to start a new business, grow their existing one, or share their passion online. In Ireland there is a great thirst for knowledge and people at all levels of society are enthusiastic to learn and improve their digital skills,” said Ronan Harris, managing director, Google Ireland.

“Our first progamme in 2011 focused on getting Irish businesses online and since then we’ve expanded our initiatives to include young people, educators, NGOs and others. These initiatives have grown year on year - last year about 14,000 people participated in Google led programmes in Ireland - and will receive added impetus in the coming year from our commitment to double the digital skills training we are providing across Europe,” he added.