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Google presents Atelierul Digital - free online training platform for Romanian students

Date: 04/26/2016
Google announces today the launch of Atelierul Digital programme in Romania, a new online platform offering free trainings to students on digital marketing and growing business online, available at https://atelieruldigital.withgoogle.com/

The digital skills gap is one of the biggest challenges in the European Union and Central Europe in particular. In order to succeed in the new digital era, countries need to boost local entrepreneurship and develop digital skills to help individuals and entrepreneurs use the full potential of internet tools and be successful online.

According to European Commission, almost half of the EU population (47%) is not properly digitally skilled, yet in the near future 90% of jobs will require some level of digital skills. EC estimates that 825,000 jobs will go unfilled by 2020 because of this skills gap.

According to the DESI Index, Romania lags behind all the other EU member states, taking the 28th place. When it comes to digital skills, Romanians perform worse than other NMS citizens: the share of Romanians with “basic” digital skills (16%) is 10 percentage points below the NMS13 average (26%); and even more strikingly, 43% of Romanians report no digital skills, which is much higher than the regional average (25%). Considering the share of individuals with “above basic” skills, which is an important asset for enterprises, Romanians are way behind the rest of the EU: only 8% of Romanians report such skills, as opposed to 25% of citizens in the NMS13, and 33% in the EU15.

Aiming to make digital skills trainings available to everyone interested, Google created a new online platform available for Romanians at https://atelieruldigital.withgoogle.com/.

"The Internet can be a powerful ally to society, helping both young professionals and businesses to grow. I am happy to announce today the launch of Atelierul digital programme in Romania, a free online courses platform aimed at empowering country’s future workforce with digital skills trainings for young professionals and students. This in turn could contribute to the acceleration of the Romanian economy to be able to make the most of the digital opportunity.”, says Dan Bulucea, Country Director for Google Romania.

The Digital Garage platform is a one-stop shop where users benefit from free tutorials on everything from how to build a presence online, to running social media marketing or using the capabilities offered by mobile phones to attract more clients, and much more. Users can choose the topics they want to learn about, or complete the whole online course, receiving a certification from Google and IAB Europe. The online course consists of 89 lessons divided into 23 topics. Each of the topics presented consists of several videos with experts and entrepreneurs sharing their experience on how to use digital skills to grow business online. Full list of contents is available here.

All businesses as well as individuals interested in expanding their digital knowledge, can sign up for free to attend the online courses available through the platform.


Notes for editors

In 2015, Google has pledged to provide 1 million Europeans with free digital skills trainings. Following the commitment made last year, Google has recently announced that it will double this effort and train 2 million Europeans by 2017. Google is investing €42M in 2016 to build and bring the digital skills platform to businesses and individuals from across Europe and train more entrepreneurs and students on the digital skills. Atelierul Digital launched today is part of this initiative.

About the report

On the occasion of Atelierul Digital launch, a report “Digital Transformation of Small and Medium Enterprises in Romania” was compiled by the Digital Economy Lab - a research centre established in 2014 within the University of Warsaw to accelerate the development of digital economy and society by providing high-quality research on the impacts of digital transformation across the region. The study considers country-specific factors of digital entrepreneurship and adoption of the main digital technologies. The report is available here:
http://www.delab.uw.edu.pl/digital-transformation-of-small-and-medium-enterprises-in-romania/


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instructions for PR agency: in addition to the news release, please also attach to the email you send the platform one-pager and recommend journalists to also check out the full report at http://www.delab.uw.edu.pl/digital-transformation-of-small-and-medium-enterprises-in-romania/

You can also highlight especially these two report excerpts to the media:

Why is it so important for SMEs to go digital?
Internet and digital tools become a must in the context of the Digital Single Market strategy. The regulations proposed within the DSM greatly enhance the opportunities stemming from successful digital transformation, as well as pose risks connected with losing markets and customers due to digital business illiteracy.

Although the digital revolution affects both ICT and traditional businesses, it puts significant pressure on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that are relatively more sensitive to global competition occurring within the Internet compared to their stronger, bigger counterparts.

Are Romanian SMEs ready to compete on the Digital Single Market?

Our analysis may suggests that Romanian SMEs strongly require a digital make-over. Romanian SMEs are the least digital in the EU, making no use of of e-commerce tools, cloud computing services and electronic information sharing tools.

Unfortunately, Romanian business may lack the basic foundation for digital development: an appropriate digital infrastructure with high Internet coverage and a digitally skilled labour force. The poor digital skills of Romanian society creates an especially big obstacle for going digital. Furthermore, enterprises do not invest in digital training for their workforce. As a result, according to the indicators measuring digital transformation of economy and society (DESI), the country takes the last place among the EU28 and falls considerably behind other NMS13 countries.

+ Added for reference/context for media but we can also remove or just paste in the email body as additional background on DSM and DeLab report

Digital Single Market
For context, on April 19th the European Commission has announced it’s Digitising European Industry Package which also recognizes the importance of digital skills and mentiones an EU skills agenda that will help give people the skills needed for jobs in the digital age. You can find the EC news release in Romanian here. The EC recognizes that "While many parts of the economy have been quick to take up digital technologies and processes, European industry across sectors and regardless of a company's size must fully use digital opportunities if it is to be globally competitive. Traditional sectors (like construction, agro-food, textiles or steel) and SMEs are particularly lagging behind in their digital transformation. Recent studies estimate that digitisation of products and services will add more than €110 billion of revenue for industry per year in Europe in the next five years."

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