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OU and FutureLearn link with Google to help build workforce of the future

The Open University (OU) and its partner FutureLearn, the online social learning platform has partnered with Google to launch a bite-sized work-related course on Google Digital Garage.

'Effective networking'

The course is a new collaboration

FutureLearn, which is committed to transforming access to education on a global scale, and the OU have teamed up with Google to launch the ‘Effective Networking‘ course. The launch of the course reflects a shared commitment to equipping workers with the soft skills needed to thrive in the ever-changing world of work.

An expansion into soft skills

Google Digital Garage is part of the company’s ‘Grow with Google initiative’. So far this has trained 7.5 million people in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2015, and which is committed to helping 1 million Europeans to find a job or grow their business by 2020.

The Effective Networking course on Google Digital Garage marks an expansion into essential soft skills by Google, which has previously focused on digital marketing in its education and training offer. The move comes in response to changes in the nature of work and the broader set of both technical and soft skills required in the modern workplace.

This first course offers learners an introduction to business fundamentals, and signposts those who finish the bite-sized course to the free-to-join Business Fundamentals programme, taught by The Open University, on FutureLearn which comprises four courses: effective networking, customer engagement, project management, and effective communication.

“Equipping employees with skills”

Stephen Somerville, Managing Director, Government and Employer Partnerships, FutureLearn, said:

Soft skills are playing an increasingly important role in the ever-changing world of work and, as some roles become automated, will serve as a growing point of differentiation between humans and machines.

He added: “We are committed to ensuring that employees are equipped with these skills and are delighted to be partnering with forward thinking organisations such as Google and The Open University who recognise the importance of soft skills for both this generation and generations to come and are actively helping people develop those skills.”

In addition to this collaboration, the OU is officially adding its accreditation to the Google Digital Marketing Certificate (already accredited by IAB Europe).

Simon Tindall, Head of New Business at The Open University, said: “This partnership represents the start of new relationship between The Open University and Google, with more exciting projects in the pipeline. Having this new, high-quality endorsement will also help to promote and drive awareness around OU free courses and resources, to help more job seekers demonstrate their skills to potential employers.”

Find out more

Read the full press release about this announcement on the Futurelearn website.

You can read Google’s blog about the announcement

 

 

About Author

Christine works in the Media Relations team within the Communications Unit at The Open University. She is an experienced BBC journalist, sub-editor and news editor and has a background in regional newspapers. After moving to PR she worked as a press officer for the Zoological Society of London. She has a BSc in Social Sciences with Politics from The Open University and focuses on stories from the Faculty of Social Science and widening access in HE. Chris swims regularly and has a pet Tortoise called Lightning.

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