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Google returns to Scotland with free digital training

Google Digital Garage

Online help: businesses benefit from learning digital skills


Google is launching a ‘Digital Garage’ in Edinburgh and a digital skills training programme in Glasgow to help improve the skills of those being left behind in the online revolution.

The Google Digital Garage, a high street training hub opening at 42 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh, is providing free coaching in skills such as ‘taking your first steps online’ and ‘how to build your cv’.

Google is also running around 100 digital skills training events at locations in and around Glasgow, including the Mitchell Library, for local people and businesses.

The initiative 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. 

Ruth Davidson, Edinburgh Centre MSP and Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party, is opening the Google Digital Garage, where expert coaches will work to deliver 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.

Research shows that 90% of new jobs in the UK require digital literacy, yet according to the Digital Economy Business Survey , just one in four businesses in Scotland feel their employees have the skills to meet their digital needs and two in five Scottish employers have vacancies in tech roles.

Small businesses with a strong web presence grow more than twice as quickly as competitors, create more than twice as many jobs, and are 50% more likely to sell outside of their immediate region.

Research also shows that 88% of attendees of Google Digital Garages have changed the way they run or promote their business online, with 68% saying they have seen increased sales, bookings, web traffic or social media after attending.

Scotland’s Digital Technologies Report shows that three in 10 Scottish businesses sell goods or services online, proving an opportunity for local business to make more of the fast-growing digital world and become more visible to target markets.

Google launched the Google Digital Garage in the UK three years ago to help address this gap in opportunity and give people in the UK the skills they need.

Ronan Harris, managing director, Google UK & Ireland, said: “Everyone should have access to the digital skills they need to grow their confidence, career or business online.”

Business owners Laura Service and Lisa Henderson set up their own design business ‘Ilka’ after attending the Google Digital Garage in Glasgow. Lisa said: “We were amazed at how simple it was to learn online marketing to promote our skills as designers and enable us to start working on our own projects.

“With new insights into digital strategy and attracting potential customers, we were inspired to take the risk we hadn’t taken yet, and launch our own business. It paid off – after visiting the Google Digital Garage we immediately won our first client and were commissioned to design the immersive brewery tour experience at West on the Green.”

The Google Digital Garage in Scotland is being delivered in partnership with local and national organisations including Edinburgh Council, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Business Gateway, and Good Things Foundation. 

The Google Digital Garage has already trained 250,000 people across the UK, helping tens of thousands people find a job or grow their career, and supporting thousands of businesses to grow. 

Launching the event today, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:Too many people still see technology as something beyond their reach – like learning a foreign language or mastering a musical instrument. But in truth, with support it can be picked up and improved upon very quickly.

Tech and the digital economy is going to be vital if we are going to achieve economic growth in Scotland over the coming years.

Anyone can pop in or register online to take part in free coaching at


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