Google launches AI training scheme to “supercharge” SMB productivity

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Google has announced the launch of a new scheme to help businesses across the UK train staff in artificial intelligence (AI) skills. 

The ‘New Fundamentals’ training scheme offers free courses for both individuals and businesses to gain practical AI skills and fine-tune their understanding of AI technologies. 

Created by AI experts at the tech giant, the new program offers ten ‘easy-to-follow’ modules, two of which have been rolled out at launch. 

This includes a course designed specifically for SMB leaders that will provide a crash course in machine learning and how this can be used to improve efficiency in small businesses, reduce costs, and drive growth. 

“It covers ways to apply different ML models, when and how to invest, and how to prepare data and resources for a machine learning project,” Google said in an announcement today. 

A second course on how businesses can enhance productivity with AI tools has also been rolled out upon launch, allowing workers to learn how to use AI products and tools in day-to-day activities. 

The launch of the SMB leader-focused course comes in response to a study conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) that found just 2% of small businesses were using machine learning tools. 

Craig Beaumont, chief of external affairs at the FSB, welcomed the announcement, adding that SMBs across the UK have a great opportunity to capitalize on recent developments in the AI space and drive growth. 


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“While only one in 50 small firms have started using machine learning, the potential of AI to fuel innovation and supercharge operations is starting to make waves in the business community,” he said. 

“We welcome Google’s early work on this to help small business owners adapt to take full advantage of the upcoming tech boom, and get their fair slice of a significant £400 billion ($515 billion) of economic benefit by 2030.”

The new AI training scheme from Google has launched in the wake of a report it published on the economic benefits of AI over the next decade. 

The UK Economic Impact Report, compiled by Public First, found that AI innovation could potentially create more than £400 billion in value for the UK economy by 2030 and “supercharge productivity”. 

Long-term, the report found that AI tools could help the average UK worker save over 100 hours a year, equivalent to nearly a full week of work. 

“Today, the UK has an exciting opportunity to unlock new economic growth with AI – and that growth becomes more sustainable if it’s inclusive,” said Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO at Google and Alphabet. 

“Google’s new training is designed to equip everyone with AI skills to work more efficiently, grow their business or career, and help ensure the benefits of AI-powered growth are felt in every industry and every part of the country.” 

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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