Facebook launches digital skills training for European SMBs

Facebook wants to provide in-person training for 100,000 SMBs and online training for 250,000 businesses by 2020.

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(Image: File photo)

Facebook said Monday it will provide one million people and business owners across the EU with digital skills training by 2020. As part of the push, Facebook will open three new community skills hubs in Spain, Poland, and Italy run in partnership with local organizations.

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Facebook will provide small businesses with training specific to their business, and begin in-person training for 100,000 SMBs and online training for 250,000 businesses by 2020, the company explained in a blog post.

Over the next two years, Facebook will also partner with Freeformers to offer training to 300,000 people across the EU in UK, France, Germany, Poland, Italy, and Spain. For 75,000 people, the training will be in person, and the rest will conduct training online.

Facebook said the digital skills training will be tailored to the individual: One person might learn to code if they have strong tech skills, while another may be taught how to open a bank account.

The three new community hubs in Spain, Italy, and Poland that Facebook will open will offer training in digital skills, media literacy, and online safety to underrepresented groups.

Facebook also announced a 10 million Euro investment in France by increasing Facebook AI Research Paris' PhD fellows from 10 to 40. The additional funding grants scholarships to students and funds 10 servers along with open datasets for French public institutions. Facebook said it will also double its team of researchers and engineers from 30 to 60.

Facebook in November 2017 announced a similar digital training program in 30 US cities.

Since 2011, Facebook said it's spent more than $1 billion to support small businesses around the world.

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