Facebook to build three new Europe hubs for digital skills training

By Johan De Mulder

Facebook is to open three new digital skills hubs in Europe which will train one million workers and small businesses by 2020.

The community skills hubs will be built in Spain, Poland and Italy with the aim of tackling the digital skills gap challenge presented to companies across the continent.

Working alongside local organisations, the centres will offer training in digital skills, media literacy and online safety. Facebook has also partnered with Freeformers to offer tailored training to people in the UK, France and Germany.

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Statistics from the European Commission show that, while nine out of ten jobs will require digital skills in the future, 44% of Europe's population between 16 and 74 years do not have rudimentary digital skills.

"People are worried that the digital revolution is leaving people behind and we want to make sure that we’re investing in digital skills to get people the skills they need to fully participate in the digital economy," said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, to Reuters.

Facebook has also said it will increase PhD fellows from 10 to 40 at its AI research centre in Paris at a cost of €10mn. Since 2011, it has invested more than $1bn in small businesses globally.

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