Google is launching a new initiative to support small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) in the UK. The tech giant will be offering up to 500 Career Certificate Scholarships, worth up to £87,000 per business, to help SMBs grow and develop high-impact tech skills. This program is part of Google’s commitment to assisting businesses in adapting to the challenges posed by the post-pandemic new normal.
The Need for Tech Skills in a Changing Landscape
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about permanent changes in customer and employee expectations. As a result, 60% of SMB owners in the UK believe that they are operating in a new normal. In response to this shift, Google commissioned a study that revealed 35% of businesses have radically changed their operations, and 63% now consider digital skills and tools to be more important than ever before.
To help SMBs navigate this new digital landscape, Google is offering flexible online training in high-demand areas. These programs, available on the online education service Coursera, cover a range of subjects, including project management, IT support, data analytics, UX design, and digital marketing. By equipping SMBs with these essential tech skills, Google aims to empower businesses to thrive in a hybrid and digitally mature world.
Google Digital Garage: Taking Skills Training to Towns and Cities
In addition to the Career Certificate Scholarships, Google is also taking its training initiatives on the road. The Google Digital Garage team will be visiting towns and cities across the UK to provide in-person support and training. The team has already started their journey in Ipswich and plans to make stops in places like Leeds, Lincolnshire, and Salisbury.
The Google Digital Garage team will offer a range of classes and one-to-one mentoring sessions. These sessions will cover topics such as writing a CV, developing a digital marketing strategy, and coding. By offering personalized support and guidance, Google aims to ensure that businesses and individuals have the necessary skills to maximize their potential in the digital age.
Government Support and Industry Collaboration
Google’s efforts to support SMBs have been met with praise from the UK government. Chancellor Rishi Sunak recognizes the vital role that small businesses play in the country’s economy. He has emphasized the government’s commitment to creating favorable conditions for SMEs to thrive and has highlighted the various support measures available to businesses, including cuts to employment taxes and business rates.
The collaboration between Google and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) further enhances the impact of these initiatives. By joining forces, Google and the FSB can reach a wider audience and provide comprehensive support to SMBs across the UK. This collaboration demonstrates the collective commitment to helping businesses adapt and succeed in an ever-changing digital landscape.
Accessing Online Courses: A Global Initiative
It’s not just SMBs in the UK that can benefit from Google’s commitment to digital skills training. The tech giant has also launched a similar program in the US. Any US business now has access to over $100,000 worth of online courses free of charge. Google is offering to cover the cost of these courses for up to 500 workers per business. By extending this initiative internationally, Google is making a significant impact on workforce development and digital skills training.
Google’s Career Certificate Scholarships and the Google Digital Garage training program are valuable opportunities for SMBs to develop their tech skills and thrive in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. The support provided by Google, in collaboration with the FSB and the UK government, demonstrates a commitment to empowering businesses and individuals with the tools they need to succeed in a post-pandemic world. By investing in digital skills training, businesses can adapt to new challenges, enhance their capabilities, and drive growth in the digital economy.