Google announces 44,500 scholarships for Pakistani students
May 15, 2023 01:40 PM
After launching Google Career Certificates (GCC) in October last year, Google has announced that it will commit a total of 44,500 new GCC scholarships by the end of 2023 to more Pakistanis wanting to gain access to in-demand digital skills.
Building on its previous commitment to help create Future Forward Pakistan, Google has added three additional courses – Business Intelligence, Advanced Data Analytics, and Cybersecurity – to their Career Certificates programme to help Pakistani women and young graduates earn employer-recognised certificates as a way to realise their career ambitions. The effort is in partnership with IRM and TechValley.
A new study from the Economist supported by Google shows that more support is needed to get the most out of Pakistan’s digital workforce. The country needs in-demand digital skills to ensure Pakistan remains competitive in both the local and global markets.
The study also shows that:
As the digital skills are becoming increasingly important, the employers’ role will be crucial in providing information about and access to upskilling programmes to their existing workforce. More than half of employees (57.3 per cent) consider digital skills the most important to acquire, and 81 per cent of employees agree that digital skills have also helped them gain confidence and improve in other areas like communication, analysis, and critical thinking.
Soft skills are pervasive across different sectors and roles. Skills such as communication and adaptability will be key differentiators for workers to learn due to their wide applicability across diverse job roles and industries. 47 per cent of employees consider soft skills as an important area for upskilling, and 71.4 per cent consider adaptability and flexibility a high priority and 81.5 per cent report communication as a “must-have” skill.
Government can facilitate a conducive ecosystem. By collaborating closely with companies, organisations and communities, government can help provide more equal access to skilling for example through incentives and supportive policies.
According to Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, unemployment rates are higher than average among women and youth – 31 per cent of the total unemployed are youth, of which women make up 51 per cent. Through initiatives such as Google Career Certificates and scholarships Google helps create more equal opportunities for people from different groups and backgrounds to gain access to digital skills and job opportunities.
Farhan Qureshi, Country Director Pakistan, Google, shared: “Google is committed to help 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 No. 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 six courses we launched last year, today we’re adding three 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.”
Iqra Malik, a Data Analyst Freelancer and a recent GCC graduate in Data Analytics, shared: “This course transformed my life by providing me with valuable new skills that helped me excel in freelance work, support my family financially, and take on various projects for clients. It not only gave me financial stability but also a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment.”
Saif Ullah (Lahore), a graduate in Digital Marketing said: “Completing the certificate had a significant impact on my life, both personally and professionally. It helped me identify a clear roadmap for my future career path. I have been able to secure a job as a performance marketer in a software house and opened doors to income generation through freelancing. I have also created accounts on Upwork and Fiverr to explore freelancing opportunities.”
In addition to the new scholarships and the 3 new courses, Google’s partners IRM and TechValley are launching a soft skills program for GCC graduates to create well-rounded professionals ready for the job market. The online program covers critical topics including Communication Skills, Personal Branding, Time Management, and Critical Thinking. It will take 4 weeks to complete the program that also includes practical assignments and homework. The curriculum is designed by Google and will be delivered by IRM and TechValley.