Google steps up recovery efforts in Asia
To help Asia-Pacific recovery and rebuild from COVID-19, Google announced that they will be pushing ahead with expanding direct support for small businesses, helping people get digital skills for the economic recovery, and working to make the recovery inclusive.
Scott Beaumont, president, Asia-Pacific, Google, said, “We want to help [business owners] adjust and succeed as Asia economies reopen. At the same time, we want to help Asia rebuild for the longer-term changes that the pandemic has brought about.”
He highlighted how the Grow with Google initiative, which provides free digital skills training programmes for job seekers and small businesses, has trained 50 million people in Asia-Pacific since 2015. In Australia, participation rates increased by 300% after the Grow with Google training courses were moved online earlier this year.
“We will keep adding new forms of support across all our tools and platforms. But where we believe we can make the biggest, most sustained impact is in digital skills,” Beaumont added.
Small businesses in the region will also continue to benefit from ad credits, which forms part of a broader US$340 million global commitment.
In Taiwan, Google is helping to launch a digital talent discovery programme that will connect students and other job seekers to employers looking for talent, while in Indonesia, Google has provided training sessions and scholarships to help people use cloud tools in their work.
Google is also supporting the Go Digital ASEAN initiative, which is designed to equip micro and small enterprises, as well as underemployed youth, with crucial digital skills and tools. The project eventually hopes to reach up to 200,000 underserved people and rural micro-enterprises across the region, and help expand economic opportunity across ASEAN member states.
Beaumont concluded, “COVID-19 has cast an especially harsh light on entrenched inequalities around the world, including in Asia-Pacific. Not everyone in the region has the same access to the opportunities the Internet creates, and we’re determined to help change that.”