The British distance learning institution said partnering with the global technology company was a “high-quality endorsement” to help promote the courses offered by the OU and delivered online, either via FutureLearn or Google.
“We are committed to ensuring that employees are equipped with soft skills”
The first course is described as “bite-sized” by FutureLearn, and is an introduction to online learning for career professionals, called “Effective networking”. It is a soft-skills focused module, reflecting the Garage’s aims to connect those already in business with education that may help them grow.
The ‘Garage’ is part of the ‘Grow with Google’ plan, which claims to have 7.5 million used in Europe, the Middle East and Africa since 2015. It’s now available in 64 nations.
In a blog post announcing the move, Google said the World Economic Forum’s research into a need for soft skills, alongside traditional education, was behind the partnership and course selection.
“By partnering with leading providers of online education, we are confident we will have a greater impact in helping learners and businesses gain new skills and training for the workplace,” the blog continued.
“Soft skills are playing an increasingly important role in the ever-changing world of work,” added Stephen Somerville, FutureLearn’s managing director on government and employer partnerships.
Somerville expanded on the importance of less traditional education being provided by well-known institutions and private firms, as the world of work changes before our eyes.
“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,” he relayed.
In addition to this collaboration between FutureLearn, The Open University and Google, The Open University announced it is adding its accreditation to the blue ribband (free) Google Digital Marketing Certificate.