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Google Partner Academy offers free training for partners, youth

Google South Africa has launched a free training program for members of the Google Partners programme, previously called Google Engage for Agencies.
Google Partner Academy, a 6-day course covering digital marketing modules such as search engine marketing, display, mobile and video advertising, and analytics, will be available to agencies and marketers, aimed at ensuring South Africa has the digital skills needed to help businesses thrive online.

Free youth course

It also announced that it would be offering an additional 15 places to young, aspiring digital marketers as part of a youth programme in conjunction with Livity Africa a not-for-profit youth content agency that helps springboard young people into paid work, by improving their vocational and employability skills with professional mentoring and free on-the-job training and the IAB.

Called Digify, the youth course will offer an in-depth 2-month course aimed at preparing young people from diverse backgrounds to step into a digital advertising job. Besides the core digital modules, it will also include basic professional and leadership skills, a mentorship program, practical work on real-life briefs and a paid-for internship.

"Since we launched Google Engage (now called Google Partners) three years ago, we've provided more than 1000 agencies with the tools and training they need to succeed online," says country marketing manager at Google SA, Elizma Nolte. "What we've heard repeatedly from these agencies, and the industry at large, is that they really struggle to recruit the digital skills they need to be successful. Not only do we want to increase the depth of current industry skills, we want to increase breadth and diversity by attracting more young people to the exciting world of digital marketing."

Lack of skills

Jarred Cinman, chairperson of the IAB South Africa, says the greatest threat to the digital industry in SA is lack of skills. "If done right - as we believe Livity is doing with Digify - we will see hundreds of new entrants into a vibrant, growing and lucrative industry. This will make a material difference to these young people, but also enable South Africa to be competitive in the provision of digital services both to local customers and global ones."

The Google Partner Academy training, which will kick off in June, will be delivered by Google certified trainers and hosted by Red & Yellow Advertising School in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The first group of young people who will "Digify" themselves over two months is set to start on 19 May.

If you are in the business of digital marketing, you can apply to attend Google Partner Academy on the Google Partners portal. If you'd like to know more about Digify, visit