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Google to Open Digital Garage in Port Talbot to Boost Digital Skills

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Google will open a pop-up ‘Digital Garage’ in Port Talbot where it will deliver free digital skills training. Opening on 24th November at St Paul’s Centre for two days, and delivered in partnership with the Welsh Government’s Port Talbot Enterprise Zone and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, the Garage will employ experts to run multiple free digital training session.

Following on from success across the UK including pop ups in Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham and Newcastle, the initiative is part of a multi-million pound investment outside of London to train 250,000 people by the end of 2016, providing vital skills for businesses in the digital age.

The training can help small businesses, charities, students, graduates, start-ups or anyone with an interest in expanding their digital skills. Local residents can learn how to develop their web presence, grow their business online, improve their career prospects and vocational skills, or just build their confidence in all things digital.

More than 90% of jobs will require digital literacy in the near future with small companies – the backbone of the British economy – growing twice as fast when they have a strong web presence, so it is crucial that both employers and employees keep up to date with the opportunities presented by online technology.

According to IPPR North research, over 88% of attendees of previous Digital Garage events have changed the way they run or promote their business online, with 68% saying they had seen positive results in increased sales, bookings, web traffic or social media after attending Google’s free training.

Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Ali Thomas OBE said,

“We look forward to welcoming Google Digital Garage for one of their first events in Wales. Google’s digital training will help many businesses and employees in the area diversify their skill sets and build a stronger online presence, which is ever-more important for success in the digital age”.

Roger Maggs, the Chair of the Port Talbot Enterprise Zone said:

‘We are very pleased that Google is partnering with us and is showing a commitment to Port Talbot and the Enterprise Zone. We are also grateful to the MP of Aberavon, Stephen Kinnock for helping to bring this exciting event to Port Talbot. My hope is that every business in the Enterprise Zone signs up for one of the sessions, take advantage of the opportunity and it increases their business prospects, or entrepreneurial skills’’.

Stephen Kinnock MP for Aberavon said:

“We all know that there is incredible talent and potential in Port Talbot, just waiting to be developed, shared and put up in lights. I am delighted that one of the world's most innovative companies is coming to Port Talbot to help the area's people and business make the most of the opportunities that the digital age presents us.

With practical and expert advice, The Google Digital Garage will help you improve what you do straight away and give you the knowledge how to keep improving, so I hope you will join us, whether you're represent a business, are applying for a job or are planning to become the next YouTube superstar!”

Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates said:

“The Welsh Government is delighted to work with partners such as Google to further develop Welsh businesses and communities to increase their digital talent and open new opportunities.

“We live in a global digital world where technology is accelerating at a rapid pace and to ensure we benefit from these advances we need to keep updated and take advantage of the latest digital tools and technologies. Google’s Digital Garage presents a great opportunity to learn from the experts and I welcome this initiative that can benefit people of any age and at any stage of their business or career.”

Peter Barron, Google EMEA VP of Communications added:

‘Google's products and free digital training are a growth engine for people and businesses up and down the country. So if you live in or around Port Talbot and you want to boost your career, or turbocharge your business, please join us at our Digital Garage and talk to our experts. We can help you connect to new customers, help boost your productivity or improve your employability no matter what field you work in.'

Anyone in Port Talbot who wants to improve their digital skills can sign up for workshops and events organised by Google and its partners at g.co/PortTalbotGarage.