Google’s $50m boost to the training industry

by Brett Henebery01 Aug 2017
Last month, a quarterly global survey of 2,500 businesses in 36 economies found that while business optimism is rising to new highs, a storm may be brewing in the shape of a skilled worker shortage.

A key message to organisations around the world from this survey was to plan and prepare for spending more in order to ensure the skills needed to drive future growth.

One organisation that is listening is Google, which last week announced a $50m initiative to help people prepare for “the changing nature of work”.

The money, from the organisation’s philanthropic arm,, will go towards helping non-profits expand economic opportunities.

In a blog post, president, Jacquelline Fuller, said the way people work is changing.

“We want to make sure that as many people as possible can make the most of the new jobs, industries and opportunities that are emerging—some of which we couldn't have imagined just a few years ago,” she wrote.

“This two-year commitment will fund non-profits focused on this issue, with our first grantees in the US and Europe; we have plans to expand to other regions soon.”

Fuller said these organisations will also be able to draw on Googlers’ volunteer time for technical advice.

“Combined with our $50m effort to help close the global education gap, has now committed $100m to supporting education and economic opportunity – our largest giving initiative to date,” she said.

According to the post, the grants will better connect job-seekers with jobs, ensure job training is effective and wide-reaching and improve job quality for low-wage workers.

“We hope that this funding and commitment from will contribute to a larger effort across companies, government, and civil society to help create a more inclusive economy for everyone,” she said.

Amid the push for greater skills training – particularly in the area of digital literacy, some recruiters warn that organisations should be more attentive in making sure their employees get the training they need.

Lisa Morris, Senior Regional Director for Hays Human Resources, told L&D Professional that more often than not, this is being left to individuals to ensure their own digital skills continue to grow.

“That’s why jobseekers are focused on finding those employers that will offer them an opportunity to grow their skills on-the-job. These employers have a real attraction advantage today,” Morris said.

“As we continue to see rapid technological advances change the competencies required to do our jobs, more employers will need to provide opportunities for employees to upskill – particularly as the fourth industrial revolution now beckons.”

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