Hone your digital skills for free with Google's new scheme

Google wants to give free training across a range of digital skills to everybody in the UK, with the company also planning to introduce school kids to the world of virtual reality.

All of this will be officially announced by the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, who has just arrived on these shores, turning up in London yesterday.

As Wired reports, Google will offer five hours of digital skills training – with no charge – to any UK citizen in order to bolster their CV, or teach them new tricks in pushing their own business forward.

Pichai said that: “No matter where you live, no matter where you’re from, no matter what your job is – you deserve access to all the information, education and opportunity the web has to offer.”

Of course, this carries on the work Google began with its Digital Garage project in the spring of 2015, a scheme which was kicked off to help businesses develop their online presence – it aims to provide skills and training to more than 200,000 organisations over two years.

It focuses on a diverse range of areas such as online marketing or developing your business through social media. Digital Garage uses a pop-up shop model, and is currently visiting Glasgow (where it will be until Thursday).

An education in VR 

As for the virtual reality plans in education, the company wants to bring VR to a million school kids via Google Expeditions, the mission of which is to “take your class on an immersive virtual journey that brings your lessons to life”.

In other words, this is VR content which supports the curriculum, and lets children visit places like different planets, underwater locations, or the freezing poles of the Earth, and other environments that they obviously wouldn’t be able to experience otherwise.

That certainly won’t hurt when it comes to the battle to make education more interesting, a campaign which saw a recent victory in terms of Minecraft: Education Edition becoming available in the UK at the beginning of November.

In a decade or so, the realm of education will be a very different place indeed, by the looks of things.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).