Google offers UK unemployed free tech skills training

Tech training from Google will be available for 9,500 people. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Tech training from Google will be available for 9,500 people. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Google (GOOGL) has launched a UK-wide programme with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) aimed at upskilling workers in tech and automation. 

The tech giant announced that four training courses will be available on from Wednesday.

Technology and automation were already fundamentally changing the way people work, a trend only accelerated by the additional upheaval of jobs markets as a result of the pandemic. 

Recent research conducted by Google and the McKinsey Global Institute before COVID-19 shows that, to ensure job creation, more than 90 million workers may need to develop significant new skills by 2030.

Across the UK people are turning to the internet to ask their most pressing questions about career development and progression with some of the top ranked questions in search around jobs and skills being ‘How to improve leadership skills?’ ‘How to improve problem solving skills?’ and ‘How to improve communication skills?’.

Search data in the UK suggests the nation is already looking to get ahead of this as searches for ‘information technology online course’ are up 780%, ‘business management course online’ are up 296% and ‘online courses with certificates’ are up 259% in just the last week alone, Google said. 

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The tech giant will distribute 9,500 Google Career Certificate scholarships in the UK through government partnerships with the DWP (9,000) and Camden Council (500). 

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“Nothing is more important than helping people get new jobs. That is the mission of our work coaches day… and I’m delighted they’ll be working with Google to give people the digital skills they need to do exactly that,” said chancellor Rishi Sunak. is also providing grant funding to the Prince’s Trust and INCO Academy to ensure that an additional 1,500 young people from underrepresented and disadvantaged communities across the UK can take advantage of the upskilling opportunity.

Claimants of universal credit will be able to access the scholarships via a referral from their work coach, meaning that the offer is available across the UK through the government’s network of jobcentres.

Those who sign up to Google Career Certificates can select any number of the four courses available to help grow the necessary skills to support a career in technology and IT. 

The courses, which are now live to applicants, include IT Support, Data Analyst, Project Manager and UX Designer. 

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They can be completed in three to five weeks if done full time although typically learners take up to six months to complete and they do not require relevant experience or a degree and are recognised by industry experts and employers, including Google.

“Technology must help everyone, no matter their location, race, age or education level,” said Ronan Harris, Google UK and Ireland’s managing director. “We must harness the opportunity to upskill people across the country for the jobs of the not so distant future. We hope that with these new efforts and the support of our public sector partners, even more people can develop the skills to thrive and continue growing their careers through technology.’’

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