Google join fight to improve digital skills in Scotland

Digital skills

The tech giants have teamed up with organisations such as SCVO and Business Gateway to bring a successful initiative to Scotland

16th July 2018 by Gareth Jones 0 Comments

Tech giant Google has pledged its support to helping Scots improve their digital skills.

The Google Digital Garage will providing free coaching to help people gain basic computer skills needed to access online services.

Workshops with themes such as taking your first steps online, how to build your CV and staying safe online will be hosted at the new training hub in Shandwick Place, Edinburgh.

Google is also running around 100 digital skills training events in and around Glasgow, including at the Mitchell Library, for local people and businesses. This marks Google’s return to Scotland after a successful first tenure at the Mitchell Library in Glasgow in 2016, where thousands of local residents benefited from free digital skills training and business advice.

Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson opened the new facility in the capital, which is part of Google’s goal of helping 100,000 people in the UK find a job or grow in their career through digital skills training over three years.

Ronan Harris, the managing director of Google UK and Ireland, said: “Everyone should have access to the digital skills they need to grow their confidence, career or business online. That’s why we’re excited to bring the Google Digital Garage to Scotland, offering free skills training for local people and businesses. Whether you want to take your first steps online, find your next job, turn your passion into your business or launch a new idea, pop in to learn how with our expert coaches.”

Statistics show that 90% of new UK jobs require digital literacy, yet according to the Digital Economy Business Survey in Scotland, just one in four businesses feel their employees have the skills to meet their digital needs and two in five Scottish employers have vacancies in tech roles. At the same time, research shows up to 16% of adults in Scotland’s most deprived areas don’t use the internet, contributing to gaps in digital skills and opportunity.

The digital garage, which has already trained 250,000 people across the UK, is being delivered in partnership with local groups such as City of Edinburgh Council, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), Business Gateway, and the Good Things Foundation.

Sally Dyson, head of digital participation at SCVO, said the garage would help to build on work that is going on in Scotland to boost skills of those most in need.

She said: “There are around 800,000 people in Scotland and more than half of charities who are not making the most of being online. This additional resource and expertise from Google is a fantastic additional layer of support to help the people and charities in Scotland not making the most of being online.”