FutureLearn and The Open University partner with Google to help build the workforce of the future

The Open University accredits Google’s Digital Marketing Certificate

FutureLearn, the online social learning platform committed to transforming access to education on a global scale, and its owner The Open University (OU), has partnered with Google to launch a bite-sized ‘Effective networking’ course on Google Digital Garage. The launch of the course reflects a shared commitment to equipping workers with the soft skills needed to thrive in the ever-changing world of work.  

Google Digital Garage is part of the company’s ‘Grow with Google initiative’, which has so far trained 7.5 million people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2015, and which is committed to helping 1 million Europeans to find a job or grow their business by 2020.

The Effective Networking course on Google Digital Garage marks an expansion into essential soft skills by Google, which has previously focused on digital marketing in its education and training offer. The move comes in response to changes in the nature of work and the broader set of both technical and soft skills required in the modern workplace.

This first course offers learners an introduction to business fundamentals, and signposts those who finish the bite-sized course to the free-to-join Business Fundamentals program, taught by The Open University, on FutureLearn which comprises four courses: effective networking, customer engagement, project management, and effective communication.

Stephen Somerville, Managing Director, Government and Employer Partnerships, FutureLearn, said: “Soft skills are playing an increasingly important role in the ever-changing world of work and, as some roles become automated, will serve as a growing point of differentiation between humans and machines.

“We are committed to ensuring that employees are equipped with these skills and are delighted to be partnering with forward thinking organisations such as Google and The Open University who recognise the importance of soft skills for both this generation and generations to come and are actively helping people develop those skills.

In addition to this collaboration between FutureLearn, The Open University and Google, The Open University, the largest academic institution in the UK and a world leader in flexible distance learning, is delighted to announce that it is officially adding its accreditation to the Google Digital Marketing Certificate (already accredited by IAB Europe).

Simon Tindall, head of new business at The Open University, said: “This partnership represents the start of new relationship between The Open University and Google, with more exciting projects in the pipeline. Having this new, high-quality endorsement will also help to promote and drive awareness around OU free courses and resources, to help more job seekers demonstrate their skills to potential employers.”

//////

FutureLearn is a leading social learning platform formed in December 2012 by The Open University and is now the largest online learning platform in Europe with over eight million people signed up worldwide. FutureLearn uses design, technology and partnerships to create enjoyable, credible and flexible online courses as well as undergraduate and postgraduate degrees that improve working lives. It partners with over a quarter of the world’s top universities, as well as organisations such as Accenture, the British Council, CIPD, Raspberry Pi and the Health Education England (NHS). It’s also involved in government-backed initiatives to address skills gaps such as The Institute of Coding and the National Centre for Computing Education.

About Grow with Google Grow with Google is a global initiative that aims to create more opportunity for everyone through the power of web, drawing on our 20-year history of building products, platforms, and services that help people and businesses grow. In Europe, Grow with Google provides access to free training courses and tools, products and in-person coaching through Google Digital Garage, aiming to help people get the right skills to find a job, advance their careers or grow their businesses.