In Pakistan on May 9, 2023, Google said today that it will provide a total of 44,500 new GCC scholarships by the end of 2023 to more Pakistanis who want to acquire in-demand digital skills. Google Career Certificates (GCC) was first introduced in October of last year.

Building on its prior commitment to assist in the creation of Future Forward Pakistan, Google has added three new courses to its Career Certificates program: Business Intelligence, Advanced Data Analytics, and Cybersecurity. These courses will help Pakistani women and recent graduates achieve their career goals by earning certificates that are recognized by employers. IRM and TechValley are partners in the endeavor.

To make the most of Pakistan’s digital workforce, additional help is required, according to new research from the Economist that was also released today and was funded by Google. To guarantee Pakistan remains competitive in both domestic and international markets, the nation needs in-demand digital skills.

Digital skills are becoming increasingly important: 57.3 percent of workers believe that learning digital skills is crucial, and 81% of workers say that learning these skills has improved their confidence and abilities in other areas including communication, analysis, and critical thinking.

Soft skills are pervasive across different sectors and roles: Across all industries and job functions, soft skills are essential. According to 81.5% of respondents, communication is a “must-have” skill, while 71.4% of respondents place a high value on adaptability and flexibility.

The government could facilitate a conducive ecosystem:  Government may enable more equal access to skills by working closely with businesses, organizations, and communities, for instance through incentives and supportive policies.

According to the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, women and young people have greater unemployment rates than the general population (31% of all unemployed youngsters are young people, with women making up 51% of this group). Google contributes to the creation of more equal possibilities for people from all groups and backgrounds to obtain digital skills and employment opportunities through programs like Google Career Certificates and scholarships.

Farhan Qureshi, Country Director Pakistan, Google, shared “Google is committed to helping build an inclusive digital economy in Pakistan through its programs, products, and services, and to invest in equipping Pakistani talent with the digital skills needed to grow and succeed. As the number 3 freelance economy in the world, digital skills are highly sought after in Pakistan. Our goal is to enable Pakistanis to seize that opportunity. We want to help people get qualifications online for jobs that are in demand, high growth, and well paying. That’s why beyond the 6 courses we launched last year, today we’re adding 3 new courses and are committing to distribute 45,500 Google Career Certificates to women and young graduates by the end of 2023.”

Attending today’s announcement event, Honourable Syed Amin Ul Haque, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication also added “We fully support Google’s efforts to equip Pakistani talent with digital skills through the Google Career Certificate program 2.0. This initiative aligns with our vision of creating an ecosystem that enables the potential of the digital economy and provides equal opportunity to all Pakistanis. We especially are appreciative of Google’s focus on distributing 50% scholarships to women.” 

To develop well-rounded individuals who are prepared for the job market, Google’s partners IRM and TechValley are introducing a soft skills program for GCC graduates in addition to the new scholarships and the three new courses. The online course covers important subjects including critical thinking, time management, personal branding, and communication skills. The program, which also includes homework and practical exercises, will be finished in 4 weeks. Google created the curriculum, and IRM and TechValley will deliver it.

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