A unique bus tour was launched in Sheffield on August 3 in partnership with Google, as part of its Digital Garage initiative.
The Google Digital Garage bus will offer free workshops and face-to-face coaching, with visitors having the option to either book in advance or simply drop by for on-the-spot help.
The multi-million pound initiative aims to help thousands of people in and around Sheffield learn skills for the digital age.
Training ranges from beginner to intermediate levels meaning everyone can take part, and covers topics such as taking first steps online, CV building and social media strategy.
Deputy leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Olivia Blake, said: “We are delighted to have been working with Google on the Digital Garage initiative, which opened in Barkers Pool in April this year.
“However, we know that not everyone is able to get into the city centre to access the training.
“We have therefore worked in partnership with Google to develop a mobile learning facility – this bus – which will go to different Sheffield locations over the course of the next few months.
“This is the first of its kind anywhere in the world and is great news for Sheffield.”
The first Sheffield session takes place today at the U-Mix centre in Lowfield, and is followed next week with sessions at Crystal Peaks.
With research showing that nine in ten members of the UK public say they feel concerned about their online safety and security, visitors to the bus can also attend sessions on how to protect themselves online, as part of a new partnership between Google and Which?
The aim is to help people learn how to spot and avoid the latest and most common online scams and threats.
Alina Dimofte, Digital Skills Policy Lead at Google, said: “Following our ongoing success in getting people engaged and learning via our high street Digital Garages in Sheffield and Birmingham, we wanted to make our training even more accessible, so have started the bus tour to take training right to people’s doorsteps.”
In the near future, more than 90 per cent of jobs will require digital literacy, so workshops such as building a digital CV will be useful for jobseekers.
Meanwhile, sessions on social media strategy will offer essential skills to those running a small business.
Previous research carried out by IPPR North found that more than 88 per cent of attendees of previous Digital Garages have changed the way they run or promote their business online, with 68 per cent saying they had seen positive results in increased sales, bookings, web traffic or social media after attending Google’s free training.
Anyone interested in the free coaching can register online and see the full bus tour itinerary here.