Renewing our pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

Digital skills are crucial to Europe’s future growth and success. We know that the current skills gap will only grow with up to 900,000 jobs going unfilled in 2020. This matters because it prevents businesses from taking new orders, building new products and offering additional services to their customers. It is a real dampener to growth.

That’s why Google is committed to helping more Europeans acquire these essential digital skills. And it’s why we’re proud to be part of the European Commission’s Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs. Today, at the Net Futures 2015 event, we updated our pledge to the Coalition, and included our recent commitment to train up to 1 million Europeans by 2016.

In 2013 when we signed up, we committed to help 20,000 entrepreneurs, train up to 100,000 school children in computer science and build links with universities. We have already outgrown our ambitions. We organized hundreds of events, reaching tens of thousands of entrepreneurs. By the end of 2014, we had reached over a million school children. Finally, we launched 25+ open online courses in collaboration with universities across Europe, focusing on the themes of maths, computer science, entrepreneurship, digital marketing and law.

And we’re continuing to train Europeans and their businesses. This year for instance, we expect to reach 50,000 entrepreneurs directly in our three Google campuses - in London, Warsaw and Madrid - and through our partnerships with The Factory in Berlin and NUMA in Paris. Also, we want to grow our partnerships. Last year, our partners Startup Weekend and Startup Grind held events in 32 and 20 countries in Europe respectively and our Google for Entrepreneurs Week took place in 14 countries. This is a huge testament to the enthusiasm that is out there. We’re excited to see what this year will bring. 

As we announced last month, we are also doubling down on our investment in helping small and medium sized businesses through our Growth Engine campaigns. Our initiatives already include Weltweit Wachsen in Germany, focusing on exports; Activate in Spain, where we are helping unemployed people get back to work by training them on web development, digital marketing and e-commerce; Made in Italy, where we are supporting Italian craftsmanship by showing them how to trade their wares online; Google Pour les Pros in France where we support SMEs via meetings at their shops, train them on digital skills and match them with young graduates, and Digital Garage, where we will offer face to face training to small businesses in five UK cities.

We believe in young people too. Our computer science education programme will work with seven STEM and computer science education organisations this year, to deliver training to 100,000 young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and ethnic minorities as well as girls in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Ireland, Spain, Hungary and Romania.

Working together to ensure entrepreneurial minds are equipped with the skills they need, remains central to our commitment to Europe.

Posted by: Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business and Operations, Google