Google set to launch high street skills hub on Shandwick Place

Google are set to launch a skills hub
Google are set to launch a skills hub
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IT has previously helped aspiring business owners quit the rat race and get their startup off the ground.

And now, tech giant Google is set to launch a city centre digital skills hub as part of a new programme of investment in Scotland, it has been announced.

Google Digital Garage, located in the former Poundstretcher shop on Shandwick Place, will offer “free workshops and face-to-face coaching” for businesses and individuals in the capital.

The project aims to be a “one stop shop” for digital skills, helping locals with everything from basic guidance on how to send an email to help with CVs and small business advice.

The “high street hub,” which will stay on the street for 12 months, follows similar initiatives in the likes of Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield, bringing 18 jobs.

However, Katie O’Donovan, digital skills policy lead for the company, explained the project was not just for those hoping for a boost to their business.

She said: “We have some people who will maybe come in for 20 minutes, give their CV a once over and then we never see them again or we have people who come in a few times a week, they learn how to redo their CV, how to apply for jobs, how to market themselves online, it really takes all types of people at different stages of their career.”

“On the flip side of that, we have people in retirement who maybe are not as technologically savvy, they want to connect with family members around the world and they don’t know how to use email, for example, we will help them broaden their digital skills.”

Over 200,000 people have made use of the initiative since it launched in the UK three years ago, with a previous pop-up event taking place in Glasgow last year.

The Edinburgh hub will be the first high street version of the project in Scotland.

Laura Service and Lisa Henderson set up their own design business ‘Ilka’ after attending the Digital Garage event in Glasgow, adding experts made it “simple” for them to promote their firm.

Lisa said: “We were amazed at how simple it was to learn online marketing to promote our skills as designers and enable us to start working on our own projects.

“With new insights into digital strategy and attracting potential customers, we were inspired to take the risk we hadn’t taken yet, and launch our own business.”

She added: “It paid off as we immediately won our first client and were commissioned to design the immersive brewery tour experience at West on the Green.”

The Google Digital Garage is open from today.