Innovation

Facebook to boost European SMBs, workers skills via digital training hubs

The social media giant continues its investment in growing digital skills through the launch of hubs in Spain, Poland, and Italy.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Facebook is launching three digital training hubs in Europe, focused on teaching workers and SMBs digital skills to help them stay competitive in the job market and grow their businesses.
  • Facebook is dedicating 10 million euros to an artificial intelligence research facility in France.

Facebook hopes to boost the digital skills of European workers and SMBs through the launch of three new digital training hubs, the company announced Sunday in a blog post.

A part of the larger Community Boost program, the "community skills hubs" in Spain, Poland, and Italy will aim to teach people media literacy, online safety, and other digital skills, the post said. The skills may help SMBs grow and workers develop skills to become competitive in the job market.

SEE: Job description: Digital campaign manager (Tech Pro Research)

"Small businesses are the heart of our economies and create the majority of new jobs all around the world," Ciaran Quilty, vice president of Facebook's small business EMEA group, said in the post. "Through Community Boost EU, Facebook will work side by side with small businesses and startups to help them grow and hire."

Aiming to reach 1 million people by 2020, the hubs will work with local organizations and focus on serving underrepresented groups, the post said. The hubs will follow the model of Facebook's Digitales Lernzentrum, which works with refugees and the elderly, among other groups, the post said.

Courses will be available online and in-person, with the business-focused classes exploring ways to increase their digital footprint and reach more customers.

Additionally, as part of Facebook's #SheMeansBusiness program, more than 15,000 women in France will receive entrepreneurship-focused training.

The social media giant also plans to work with Freeformers over the next two years to provide tailored training to 300,000 people across the EU. Depending on their skill set, participants could learn skills ranging from how to open an online bank account to how to code, the post said.

Facebook will also be investing 10 million euros to quadruple the size of its Facebook AI Research Paris' PhD fellows program in France, raising the number of funded fellows from 10 to 40. Additionally, the number of researchers and engineers will double from 30 to 60, the post said.

The announcement is part of Facebook's larger investment in growing digital skills. In November, the company launched similar training in some US cities to help boost the digital skills of SMBs and workers.

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Image: iStockphoto/nd3000

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is an Education Reporter at Insider Louisville.

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