Google announces $100m career skills fund for low-income workers
The ‘Google Career Certificates Fund’ aims to enable more than 20,000 American to gain career skills and improve their employment opportunities.
Google says the programme has the potential to drive $1 billion in wage gains, and hopes it will encourage others in the tech industry to make training more affordable and accessible.
Social Finance, a non for profit consultancy that helps with finances and social issues, will send the investment to several non-profit training providers such as Merit America and Year Up.
The programme will allow low-income Americans to access the existing Google Career Certificates training at no upfront cost. The Certificates were created by Google employees to train workers with skills in high-demand fields, with no experience or degree need.
Those taking part in the courses will not need to pay any upfront cost, and instead will receive a no-interest loan that they will pay back in low monthly payments once they’ve secured a job that pays at least $40,000. Repayments will be reinvested in the fund to continue supporting future participants.
The programme will also include personal support such as professional coaching, interview preparation and job placement assistance. Living stipends will also be given to allow for expenses like childcare and transport.
Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, said: “This innovative funding model brings together digital skills training and support services to connect more Americans to high-growth, high-paying jobs. We hope it will be transformative for people, their families, and their communities.”
Tracy Palanghian, CEO and co-founder of Social Finance, said: “This innovative programme, the most student-friendly financing of this scale, eliminates the financial risks for learners pursuing new career paths.”
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