Many people despise Google for various reasons - having a virtual monopoly in search, and not paying enough tax, are two that immediately spring to mind. However here is a example of Google investing in the community, and to be more specific the coastal community.
The cynic might say that they are only doing this for self interest, and of course you would expect there to be something in it for them. But it's a forward thinking initiative to improve the digital capabilities of owners of SME's in hospitality.
In fact there's a wider lack of digital knowledge in the UK. Every degree course should have a digital element to it. There are insufficient degree courses in e-commerce and digital in the UK. In addition there are many candidates in the UK who would benefit from re-training to acquire digital skills. The Google brand is a powerful one in the digital world, and already has a formal exam and certificate for digital marketer. For example candidates who have a certification in Google Adwords or Google Analytics hold a significant advantage over those who don't when applying for jobs. It would be great to see this initiative widened.
Google has launched a multi-million pound digital skills programme to help British seaside towns attract more tourists. The search giant will give small businesses, tourist centres and locals in seaside towns free, bespoke training and face-to-face mentorship from Google experts. Partnerships will be formed with British Hospitality Association, National Coastal Tourism Academy and UKinbound in a bid to boost visitor numbers on British coasts this summer. The move comes as part of the British government’s Digital Strategy and Digital Skills partnership and is designed to help the hospitality and tourism industries which employ 4.5m people, 14% of the UK workforce. Ronan Harris, Google’s managing director UK Ireland, said: “We believe that digital can have a transformative impact, no matter where you live and what your job is. Everyone deserves access to the tools and opportunities the web has to offer.”