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EU Commission Honors Scholarship Initiative by Google, Bertelsmann and Udacity

Each year, the EU Commission honors innovative and exemplary digital initiatives with the "European Digital Skills Award.” This year, one of the prestigious awards went to Google, Bertelsmann and Udacity for their joint initiative to provide IT talents with advanced training. The initiative involves awarding 87,000 scholarships for Udacity courses.

Aaron Oertel: From Business School Drop Out to Junior Android DeveloperThe advanced training initiative jointly mounted by Google, Bertelsmann, and Udacity to train IT talent has been recognized by the European Commission with a European Digital Skills Award. Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, presented the award on Thursday at an event in Brussels.

The three companies had launched the initiative in 2016. It initially involved Google and Bertelsmann funding approximately 12,000 scholarships for various courses on the digital learning and training platform Udacity. This year, another 75,000 scholarships were added to the initiative. The offer aims to provide interested talent with the necessary IT skills for the labor market and prepare them for the digital future in Europe. While Google's scholarships focus on Android and web development, Bertelsmann's focus on the field of data analysis.

Alessandro Bogliolo, Member of the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition Governing Board Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner Digital Economy and Society Leslie Miller, Global Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google Marc Sundermann, Head of the Brussels Liaison Office; Vice President Government Relations at BertelsmannThomas Rabe, Chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “We are delighted to receive the European Commission's award. I could not be more pleased that the partnership we have created with Google and Udacity is being acknowledged for the impact it is having. This is testament of the fact that we care deeply about addressing the IT skills gap in the markets we operate in. After all, building and attracting a talent pipeline with state-of-the-art digital capabilities is a top priority of Bertelsmann as we become a faster-growing, more digital, more international and more diversified company.”

Matt Brittin, President, EMEA Business & Operations, Google said: “Everyone needs the right skills to get a job or grow their career, and the web can help with that. We feel we can make a difference with our digital skills training, so we're delighted to see the developer scholarships being recognized by the European Commission, and are thankful to our partners Udacity and Bertelsmann. When we joined the Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition back in 2015, we did so in the hope of helping to make a difference to people’s futures, and we have been humbled by the stories of success we’ve heard from our trainees along the way.”

Vish Makhijani, CEO of Udacity, said: “We are honored to be recognised by the European Commission for our work with Google and Bertelsmann in promoting job-relevant digital skills and lifelong learning for tens of thousands of people across Europe. At Udacity, our goal is to empower as many people as possible to participate in, and benefit from the digital economy. The stories from this scholarship program confirm that we're on the right track. We’re looking forward to replicating our success with this year’s even larger scholarship program.”

The European Commission’s European Digital Skills Awards recognizes innovative digital initiatives that can inspire others to take similar action. An independent panel of experts selects the winners. This year, 243 projects were submitted for consideration in five categories. (benet)

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