It has been an incredibly eventful and joyful week for schools, as pupils were welcomed back! Primary and special schools were open to all pupils; whilst secondary schools managed the staggered return of students, along with the daily testing regime. It has been wonderful to hear the positive stories of pupil’s return, their joy of seeing friends and school staff, being able to play and talk to one another and get back to learning.

This week, we’re pleased to announce that we are partnering with Google, one of our STEAM Pledge employers, to help deliver Google’s Career Certificates –professional training courses, available online, which will help prepare young people for well-paid, high quality jobs in growing career areas such as – IT Support, Project Management, User Experience Design and Data Analytics. On Friday, Google announced three new Google Career Certificates available online, which enable people to become job-ready for growing career areas which can be completed in under six months, do not require relevant experience or a degree, and are recognized by industry experts and employers.

In the press release, Google announced that even before COVID-19, research by Google and McKinsey showed that more than 90 million European workers may need to develop significant new skills within their current roles, while up to 21 million may have to leave occupations with declining labour needs like agriculture or in-person retail. The global crisis has sped up many of these predicted changes: McKinsey now estimates that 25% more people in Europe may need to transition to new jobs after the pandemic.  These certificates help meet surging demand by workers to get the skills they need to secure good jobs. In the last year, we’ve seen increased interest in online learning as more workers lose their jobs or, as they seek to gain the skills employers are looking for today — and in the years ahead.

Google acknowledged that addressing the challenges of the future of work requires collaboration between governments, companies and community organisations. Google announced that they are proud to support the European Commission’s Pact for Skills, and, as part of their commitment to help people overcome barriers to learning, will provide scholarships for the certificates across Europe; Camden is the first council in the UK to join Google’s Career Certificates programme. It is a big step in the right direction more broadly as a couple of years ago, Google would not be interested in a local partnership like this. This is an important shift, and one we can build on with the STEAM developments in Camden and as we begin to implement the recommendations from the recent Post 16 review, where a key suggestion is to look at improving the non A level offer.

Six secondary schools in Camden have already signed up for the Google Certificates programme and we have been allocated 500. It’s a huge achievement! It is not too late, please contact to express an interest by Friday 19th March.



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