Designing and delivering new digital skills training for UK small and medium businesses

Google Digital Garage

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The client

Google Digital Garage

Google Digital Garage is a programme from Google that helps people to grow their careers or businesses, by learning new skills and making the most of digital tools. Since 2015, Google has helped train over one million people across the UK. 

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Key Outcomes

We worked in partnership with the team at Google Digital Garage to devise and deliver a new suite of trainer-led courses. Covering emerging and evolving technologies like AI, Cloud Computing and Data, as well as essential business skills like leadership and marketing. The series of short courses will help small and medium businesses (SMBs) grow their digital skills and stay ahead in a digital-first UK market.

  • PACE 6 Months to research, make recommendations, contribute to course materials and begin delivering new training courses
  • RIGOUR 70 topics synthesised into 5 key learning themes
The Challenge

Exploring new topics for digital learning

Google wanted to explore new subjects for the most in-demand and helpful digital skills that would allow every digital-age worker and SMB to make the most of the opportunities of digital.

Alongside Google’s internal subject matter experts, Google looked to AND Digital for their experience in working with UK businesses on their digital transformation, alongside their passion and expertise to help them develop and deliver the new subjects to Google Digital Garage learners.

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Our aligned mission & purpose

We were approached by Google following the publication of our ‘The Nature of the Digital Skills Gap’ report which highlights the current gap between the digital skills that companies and individuals currently possess, and those that they will need to unlock their full economic potential. Google felt that AND’s mission to ‘Close the World’s Digital Skills Gap’ was a strong fit with the outcomes of the Google Digital Garage programme.

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“We have really valued having AND Digital work alongside our own internal experts, to help us with revamping our Google Digital Garage curriculum this year. AND Digital’s access to a broad range of technical expertise and first-hand experience in helping businesses with digital transformation has made them a valued team player in driving success for the project. Their knowledge and experience has helped us solicit a diverse range of perspectives on how we can make our offering as helpful as possible for our learners.”

Sarah Lewin Product Marketing Manager, Grow with Google UK

Researching, recommending, and designing new courses

We worked with Google across three phases of work:

Phase 1 - Research:
We began with desk research, reviewing industry insights alongside our own primary research into the nature of the UK Digital Skills Gap. This allowed us to create benchmarks against which to review and analyse Google’s current training offering.

Following our desk research, we expanded the research programme to primary user research. This took the form of qualitative interviews with individuals who owned and operated small and medium businesses, with a view to providing tangible insights into current and future demands for digital skills.

We used the results of this research to form hypotheses which were then validated through a series of surveys, providing quantitative insights that enabled us to confidently make recommendations.

Phase 2 - Recommendations:
The key themes that were identified during our research were used to define a long list of potential courses. The output was 70 potential topics, which we needed to refine according to user needs. Through the use of a prioritisation method based on the insights and goals surfaced during our research we were able rank and refine the potential course options down to 8 top themes. Through collaboration with Google they were then further refined into 5 core topics that would form the subject matter.

Phase 3 - Course Design:
With these topics defined we then worked with Google to create detailed lesson plans for each subject. The lesson plans outlined the detail of knowledge, tools and skills being taught in each session, with learning outcomes, appropriate illustrative examples, and tool recommendations for each subject.

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The Results

A successful roll-out that empowers digital learners

The courses began being rolled out in July 2023 via live events and webinars, with the first two courses focussing on equipping learners with the AI skills and knowledge they will need to succeed both today and in the future. The remaining courses will be rolled out throughout the rest of 2023.

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