This week, Google announced that it plans to initiate a training program in Europe that will teach “crucial digital skills” to one million people by 2016. They wrote that post with 310 days left in the year, so that means that Google will train about 3,226 Europeans per day during 2015. Since the time they posted the announcement on Tuesday, nearly 9,700 Europeans have been trained in digital skills by Google. Congratulations everybody! Or, as they say in the common language of Europe: Congratulations everybody!
The details of the plans haven’t been made public yet, but it looks as though Google is planning on opening up a training hub that will host digital users and expanding the Google brand to the idea of training. “Google will train 1 million Europeans in crucial digital skills by 2016,” wrote Google’s EMEA Business and Operations president Matt Brittin in his introductory blog post. “We will invest an additional €25M to broaden our current programs and take them to new markets across Europe to train more small businesses on the digital skills they so need. We’ll build a Europe-wide training hub to support businesses anywhere in Europe to get training online.”
It’s exciting to see more and bigger players getting into the game of teaching digital skills. Only good can come of influential entities, including governments and Googles, taking on the issues that Grovo has long discussed—the dangers of the skills gap and the importance of optimal digital performance chief among them. In his post, Brittin cited an EU prediction that 900,000 jobs will go unfilled due to the digital skills gap by 2020. Without a concerted effort to spread digital skills and digital literacy, especially to underserved populations, all of our collective economies will suffer. Global societies will be worse off, and with them, all of us citizens of a connected globe.
Maybe that’s what makes it particularly appealing to see Google promote itself through skills training. No other company encapsulates the human connection to technology the way Google does today. The opportunity of a fully skilled-up planet is the specter of a fully aligned planet, one that can share thoughts and experience others’ realities. If anything approaching the scale of a global convergence of humanity is to take place in the near term, it will likely be through Google. We’re excited to see them take on the skills gap—they have the reach to do some real good.