Digital skills are a key part of many jobs and are crucial for helping small businesses grow. But with the hustle of daily life, many of us struggle to find the time to learn valuable new skills that could help with landing a new job, earning more money or growing a business.
That’s why we’ve asked for advice from four people who’ve done this before: presenter and former footballer Ian Wright, entrepreneur and Dragon’s Den investor Steven Bartlett, finance professional turned YouTuber Patricia Bright, and founder of notonthehighstreet.co.uk Holly Tucker. Based on their experiences with switching careers or starting a business by learning a new skill, they’ve helped us create Skills to Go, a free, bitesize digital skills training programme.
You can complete the short training sessions, which range from five to 20 minutes, as and when you have time — while commuting, over a coffee break or in between appointments. Our Skills to Go site suggests relevant topics — including CV writing, changing careers and growing a business online — based on how much time you have to spare.
We’ve built this programme in response to new data from YouGov that reveals that lack of time is the number one barrier stopping people from learning skills that could take their careers and businesses to the next level. And it’s a very real need: in the UK, more than 90% of people are online, yet fewer than half of businesses have a website. Businesses struggle to recruit people with digital skills; the digital skills gap accounts for 30% of unfilled vacancies, and costs the UK economy £63 billion per year.
Our new Skills to Go campaign is just one of the ways that we’re working to help address the nation’s skills shortage. Since launching our first digital skills training programme in Leeds in 2015, we’ve visited more than 500 locations up and down the country, and have provided digital skills training to more than 800,000 people in the UK. We offer individuals and business owners opportunities to, for example, take part in one-to-one mentoring sessions or learn about digital marketing to help them advance their careers or boost their businesses. This year, we’re visiting more than 30 locations, such as Newport and Cambridgeshire, to help people learn new skills and get Britain growing.
Of course, we can’t do this alone. Earlier this year, alongside a number of top UK employers including the BBC, BT Group, Deloitte, John Lewis Partnership and NatWest, we announced our Employer Consortium, which recognises Google Career Certificates when recruiting for much-needed tech roles, providing an accessible path for Brits into high-growth, well-paid tech jobs.
Everyone should have the opportunity to gain digital skills regardless of their location, race, age, gender or education level. That's why we’re supporting Good Things Foundation’s work with 1,500 community organisations across the UK, which supports up to 25,000 people from underrepresented communities to get online and learn essential digital skills.
These are all part of our efforts to make it easier than ever for you to gain new skills, wherever you’re at in your career. So the next time you have a spare five minutes, search ‘Google Skills Training’ to learn from business experts like Stephen, Holly and Patricia and boost your business or career.