Google to teach ba­sic digital skills for free

On­line plat­form to train 200,000 Arabs in as­so­ci­a­tion with In­jaz Al Arab and MiSK Foun­da­tion

Gulf News - - Nation - BY NAUSHAD K. CHERRAYIL Staff Re­porter

Google has launched an Ara­bic on­line learn­ing plat­form — Ma­harat min Google — in an ef­fort to help peo­ple in the Mid­dle East and North Africa to find jobs, ad­vance their ca­reers or grow their busi­nesses by of­fer­ing a free ba­sic digital skills-build­ing pro­gramme.

Google has teamed up with In­jaz Al Arab, a re­gional non­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion, and Saudi Ara­bia’s MiSK Foun­da­tion (Mo­ham­mad Bin Sal­man Bin Ab­dul Aziz Foun­da­tion) to train 200,000 peo­ple from the re­gion, with a tar­get of 50 per cent fe­male par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“We are a well-con­nected peo­ple in the UAE but in the re­gion only half the peo­ple today are con­nected to the in­ter­net. 200 mil­lion still to be con­nected for the first time,” said Matt Brit­tin, Google’s pres­i­dent of busi­ness op­er­a­tions across Europe, Mid­dle East and Africa.

He said that there could be a mil­lion jobs that are un­filled due to lack of “digital skills” by 2020 and by 2025, three mil­lion jobs are at risk if peo­ple don’t have the right skills.

In a re­cent study by the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum, one in five jobs in the Arab world will re­quire digital skills that aren’t widely avail­able today. 51 per cent of youth con­sid­ers un­em­ploy­ment their big­gest con­cern and only 38 per cent be­lieve their ed­u­ca­tion gives them the skills they need to en­ter the work­force.

“There is a real risk of not seiz­ing the op­por­tu­nity here. The plat­form is free for ev­ery­body and de­signed for every­one to go on­line and to learn how digital can be more pro­duc­tive for stu­dents, teach­ers, en­trepreneurs, busi­nesses and job seek­ers,” Brit­tin said.

The on­line plat­form — g.co/Ma­harat — has 100 lessons across 26 core top­ics in digital mar­ket­ing that in­clude search en­gine mar­ket­ing, so­cial me­dia, video, e-com­merce, geo-tar­get­ing, and data an­a­lyt­ics, among oth­ers. Google will pro­vide a cer­tifi­cate upon com­ple­tion of the full course.

Matt Brit­tin

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