In his first UK visit since becoming Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, unveiled plans to bring five hours of free digital skills training to anyone who wants to further their career prospects or grow their business.
The Google CEO also announced a programme that brings VR technology and training to one million UK school pupils and thousands of teachers by the end of the next school year.
Pichai said: “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.”
“Our aim is to make sure that every individual and business in the UK has the support they need to make the most of online tools to innovate, compete and have fruitful careers in the digital age.”
Throughout 2017, the digital skills programme will offer face-to-face training in 100 cities and towns across the UK as well as free online courses to those preferring to learn at home.
Learning with Google’s VR
Mr Pichai will also visit a school in London to join children taking part in a lesson using the latest virtual reality technology.
He will say: “Virtual reality can spark students’ imagination and help them learn about topics like how blood flows through the human body or the impact climate change is having on the Great Barrier Reef, in an engaging and immersive way.
“Today, we’re taking a class through one of our new career Expeditions, which inspires students to think about their future professions by taking a virtual trip to work environments like a hospital operating theatre or behind the scenes at Aston Martin.
“We’ve already received feedback from thousands of teachers in the UK and they believe that Expeditions can improve literacy and writing skills, and help create excitement to complement traditional teaching methods.”
Maggie Aderin-Pocock MBE, Space and Accessibility Scientist, said: “To try to inspire the next generation of space scientists and STEM practitioners I like to take kids on “Tours of the Universe”. With this technology it really feels one step closer to actually being out there. With the range of Expeditions available I think that kids will not just be inspired to consider a vast range of careers but will also be able to reach for the stars themselves. I wish this was around when I was young.”