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“Grow Croatia with Google” programme launched

"Grow Croatia with Google" programme launched

ZAGREB, Dec 1 (Hina) – The Grow Croatia with Google programme, implemented in cooperation with the Labour Ministry and Croatian Employment Service, aims to assist 10,000 SMEs and individuals until the end of 2021 in accelerating their digital transformation and overcoming the crisis, an online conference heard on Tuesday.

The conference was organised by Google, with Ivana Grabovac underscoring that the programme has been present in Croatia since 2017 as an aid for SME’s and individuals in teaching them how to adopt digital skills and now it wants to help the economy to recover and develop.

“So far the programme has helped more than 37,000 people to acquire digital skills and by 2021 we wish to help 10,000 companies and individuals to accelerate the digital transformation of their business and to adopt new knowledge and tools to facilitate their work and to help them return even stronger after the crisis,” said Grabovac, adding that training is implemented in cooperation with the Algebra College.

Dragan Jelic, state-secretary at the Ministry of Labour, Pension System, Family and Social Policy, welcomed the programme, underlining the importance of the cooperation with Google in adopting new knowledge by young people and other entrepreneurs.

“Digital transition is one of the EU priorities, hence in Croatia too, and that is not just implementing new technology but also education and enabling everyone to have access to knowledge and that is being made possible through workshops organised by Google and the Croatian Employment Service (HZZ) free of charge,” said Jelic, noting that 300 people going into self-employment have already passed through the programme.

HZZ Director Ante Loncar said he believes the workshops have attracted a lot of young people and SMEs as they are the basis of the EU’s economy and more than 90% of them in the EU and Croatia have experienced a fall in turnover of about 50% due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Loncar said that HZZ is adapting to new digital trends and education for the labour force and Google’s tools will be of assistance in that regard.

“Digitalisation is a strategic objective for the service and it will be directed internally and externally towards beneficiaries through employment and self-employment measures but also through mediation on the labour market and for training,” said Loncar, adding that a total of 390 beneficiaries were granted self-employment support in the period from July to October and were thus given an opportunity to additionally improve their business.

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