DWP and Google join forces to grow jobseekers’ digital skills

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has partnered with Google to provide 9,000 jobseekers across the UK with scholarships to gain a Google Career Certificate

The scholarship will let jobseekers access courses to grow the necessary skills for a career in technology and IT, with Universal Credit claimants being referred to the scholarships by their Work Coach.

The courses do not require relevant experience or a degree and are recognised by industry experts and employers, including Google.

The courses which are now live to applicants include IT Support, Data Analyst, Project Manager and UX Designer.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister for Employment Mims Davies MP 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."

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP said:

"Nothing is more important than helping people get new jobs. That is the mission of our Work Coaches day in and day out, and I’m delighted they’ll be working with Google to give people the digital skills they need to do exactly that."

Ronan Harris, Google UK and Ireland’s Managing Director, 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."

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."

Julian David, techUK CEO, said:

"This initiative from Google, working with DWP, is another great way the technology industry is widening access to digital skills certifications that have a proven track record of leading to better employability and opportunity.

"Such courses provide flexible, affordable and effective routes for learners to acquire skills that are valued by employers which is crucial as we continue to support people into secure, resilient jobs."

Work Coaches will be able to combine these scholarships with additional tailored support on offer through the government’s multi-billion-pound Plan for Jobs, aimed at protecting, supporting and creating jobs for people of all ages across the country.

The announcement follows an update this week, which showed that 100,000 jobseekers across Great Britain had started on the JETS Scheme – aimed at helping those that have lost jobs in the pandemic with their work search.

To help spearhead efforts to get people into work, the DWP has hired an additional 13,500 new Work Coaches, meaning people of all ages can access bespoke support to fire up their job hunt.

Department for Work and Pensions
Mims Davies MP
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP