The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is working with Google to provide 9,000 UK jobseekers with technology and IT scholarships.
Jobseekers will be able to access technology courses that lead to a “Google Career Certificate”, with Universal Credit claimants being referred to the scholarships by work coaches.
The courses – in topics such as IT support, data analysis, project management and user experience – do not require relevant experience or a degree and are recognised by industry experts and employers, including Google.
Welcoming the announcement, minister for employment Mims Davies said: “Helping jobseekers to build the confidence and skills they need to take up new opportunities is vital for the next stage in our recovery from the pandemic. Our Plan for Jobs puts skills at the heart of that and crucially Google’s Career Certificates will help people showcase their digital skills and build our workforce of tomorrow.”
Google UK and Ireland’s managing director Ronan Harris said: “Technology must help everyone, no matter their location, race, age or education level. We must harness the opportunity to upskill people across the country for the jobs of the not so distant future.
“We hope that with these new efforts and the support of our public sector partners, even more people can develop the skills to thrive and continue growing their careers through technology.”
The government says that 100,000 jobseekers across Great Britain have started on the job-entry training support (Jets) Scheme – aimed at helping those that have lost jobs in the pandemic with their work search.
Stephen Evans, Learning and Work Institute chief executive, said: “As the economy reopens, so too will new job opportunities. For many of those looking for work, learning new skills will be a vital part of taking up these opportunities. This initiative has the potential to help jobseekers to gain the skills they need for a rewarding career and to do so in a flexible way.
“We must break down barriers to opportunity so everyone has the chance to make the most of their talents as we look to recover from the pandemic and build a prosperous future.”
The DWP said it has hired an additional 13,500 new work coaches who can combine the tech scholarships with other tailored support through the government’s Plan for Jobs, aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs.