50 locations in three months

Google takes digital skills initiative on tour

Google Digital Garage in Edinburgh

The Google Digital Garage opened in Edinburgh in July


Google is taking its digital coaching and advice service on tour in order to spread the word on new skills in the workplace.

A bus will visit 50 locations in the central belt as part of  the Google Digital Garage initiative. The tour starts in Glasgow and will provide free digital skills training to small businesses and charities.

Google has worked with a wide range of government, education and industry partners to plan the bus tour, including The Good Things Foundation, Bank of Scotland, Glasgow Life, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the Department of Work and Pensions.

It opened a Digital Garage in Edinburgh’ west end last month, its second presence in Scotland after a short tenure in Glasgow in 2015.

The initiative comes amid new data showing 90% of new UK jobs require digital literacy, yet the Digital Economy Business Survey showed that in Scotland just one in four businesses feel their employees have the skills to meet their digital needs. Up to 16% in Scotland’s most deprived areas don’t use the internet, contributing to gaps in digital skills and opportunity. 

This Google Digital Garage bus will offer free workshops and face-to-face coaching, with visitors having the option to either book in advance or simply drop by for on-the-spot help.

The training ranges from beginner to intermediate levels, meaning everyone can come and take part, and covers topics such as: taking your first steps online, how to build your CV, and social media strategy.

With research showing that nine in ten members of the UK public say they feel concerned about their online safety and security, visitors to the bus can also attend sessions on how to protect themselves online, as part of a partnership between Google and Which?

The aim is to help people learn how to spot and avoid the latest and most common online scams and threats, with simple steps that everybody can apply easily in their daily lives.

Alina Dimofte, digital skills policy lead at Google, said: “We wanted to make our training even more accessible, so have started the bus tour to take training right to people’s doorsteps.”

Anyone interested in the free coaching can register and see the full bus tour itinerary at g.co/ScotlandGarage

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