Bertelsmann and Google are between them to fund 75,000 scholarships through US online education provider Udacity, in which Bertelsmann has a stake.
Bertelsmann’s 15,000 scholarships will be in the field of Data Science, and will be given to “beginners and experienced programmers". Google will fund a further 60,000 scholarships in Web and Android Development.
The initiative, which builds on a smaller scheme held last year, is described as “a partnership which aims to prepare new European talent for the digital future.”
The programme covers EU and EFTA countries, and is extended out to include Israel, Turkey, Egypt and Russia.
Hays Stellberg, head of talent management at Bertelsmann, said: “Bertelsmann’s businesses are becoming steadily more digital. Accordingly, digital skills and IT expertise are becoming increasingly important, especially in data science. We see it as our responsibility to make as many people as possible fit for the demanding, IT-based tasks of tomorrow’s working world. With this initiative, we would like to approach data science talent, both in-house and externally, and get them excited about Bertelsmann long-term.”
He added: “Google and Udacity are the ideal partners for Bertelsmann in this – as the successful launch of our co-operation last year showed. Now we look forward to expanding our partnership by making a really big commitment.”
Google’s president of EMEA business and operations Matt Brittin commented: “Technology opens a world of opportunities and everyone should have access to them.”
Bertelsmann said it has made digital training programmes for its employees a priority in recent years, offering employees worldwide free access to more than 10,000 e-learning courses. Udacity offers courses in mobile and web development and data science, as well as virtual reality and artificial intelligence.