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FOUNDATION OF LIGHT
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Beacon first stop on Google Digital Garage Bus tour

Google is bringing The Google Digital Garage bus to the Beacon of Light offering local people free advice and coaching on digital skills to help grow their business, career and confidence.

The event on Tuesday 11th June is the inaugural stop in a tour of 30 locations around the North East the bus will be visiting over the summer.

The training courses offered at the Beacon of Light will include: how to build a CV, Writing a Cover Letter, how to create a social media strategy and how to build a digital marketing plan. Free face-to-face coaching on a 1:1 basis will also be offered for people with any level of experience; from advice on taking the first steps online, to building your personal brand on the internet.

As a flagship investment programme for Google UK, in just three years the Google Digital Garage has trained over 300,000 people in over 500 UK locations. The Google Digital Garage bus is a mobile training hub with expert trainers and mentors on-board delivering free digital skills training which has contributed significantly to these figures.

Google is partnering with local organisations, such as the Foundation of Light, Sunderland BID, Good Things Foundation and DWP to bring the bus to local communities and businesses.

The bus tour is part of a wider presence Google now has in Sunderland. In May 2019, Google opened a new digital skills training hub at The Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland as part of a major investment to help boost digital skills throughout the UK and the North East in particular.

In the North East, 50% of SMEs agree that the digital skills gap between the skills businesses need to compete in the digital economy and the talent available in the workforce is growing. Google’s free training sessions aim to close this skills gap and help grow the confidence, careers and success of individuals and small business throughout the UK.

Jamie Wright, Director of Programming at the Foundation of Light, said: “Through the Foundation of Light’s award winning employability programmes, we support jobseekers across the North East to find work by improving their skills and confidence, as well as working with local businesses to put learners in contact with potential employers.

We are delighted to be working with Google to host the Digital Garage Bus at the Beacon of Light and the Centre of Light in Chester-Le-Street. This resource is a fantastic additional layer of support for our learners.

“Having the backing of an organisation the size of Google is a major boost for the Foundation of Light, as we aim to improve the skills of those most in need.”

Ronan Harris, Managing Director, Google UK and Ireland, commented: “We’re thrilled to bring the Google Digital Garage and continue to offer free digital skills training to individuals and businesses in Sunderland.

“We firmly believe everyone should be able to benefit from the opportunities that technology brings and we want to give people the skills they need to grow their confidence, career or business.”

The Google Digital Garage bus will be parked outside the Beacon of Light, Sunderland, SR5 1SU on Tuesday 11th June 2019, from 9am – 5pm. Visitors are invited to drop by for on-the-spot help. The bus will be touring in the region for a minimum of two months.

As part of the wider North East tour, the bus will be stopping in the following locations in and around Sunderland:

  • 12th June: Washington Community Resource Centre, Ayton Rd, Oxclose, NE38 0DA
  • 18th June: Sunderland Business Improvement District, Tavistock Place, SR1 1PB
  • 10th July: Box Project Hall, Farm Road, SR3 2UY
  • 11th July: Bede Tower, Burdon Road, SR2 7DZ
  • 12th July: Houghton Library, Newbottle St, Houghton le Spring, DH4 4AF
  • 27th July: The Beacon of Light, SR5 1SN
  • 1st August: Southwick Community Project, Austin House, SR5 2JX
  • 3rd August: The Beacon of Light, SR5 1SN

For more information, visit: g.co/digitalgaragebus

Written By CHRIS FRYATT

5 June 2019

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