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Google unveils new tech skilling program to foster innovation among Palestinian tech entrepreneurs

From 2023 to 2023, the program's objective is to successfully graduate 3,500 individuals from the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem in Palestine.

Google unveils new tech skilling program to foster innovation among Palestinian tech entrepreneurs
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Tech giant Google has introduced the Palestine Launchpad program, an initiative to enhance the digital capabilities of Palestinian graduates, app developers, and tech entrepreneurs. This program focuses on improving skills and opening up employment opportunities.

The program was launched in collaboration with Udacity and Spark. From 2023 until 2023, it aims to graduate 3,500 Palestinians from the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

To bridge gaps in talent and employment, the program centers on three key pillars: capacity building, mentorship, and employment matching.

Udacity’s 16-week hybrid program will provide foundational and advanced technical and soft skills. The program encompasses tracks in web development, AI engineering, and data analysis, featuring courses such as “Intro to Programming,” “Programming for Data Science,” and “AI Programming with Python.” These courses are tailored to prepare students for machine learning engineering, data science, and mobile app development roles.

“We are committed to helping Palestinian graduates, app developers and tech entrepreneurs with the digital skills they need to succeed and to facilitate access to jobs and employment,” said Najeeb Jarrar, Regional Marketing Director for Google in MENA.

He added, “Google has long been supporting Palestinians through digital skills initiatives like Maharat min Google, Coursera licenses/Google Career Certificates. We’ve also worked in collaboration with global and local partners like Udacity, Spark, Kiva, Amideast, Gaza Sky Geeks and others.”

Additionally, the program will guide students in preparing themselves for employment through topics such as crafting resumes, mastering job interview skills, and refining elevator pitches.

The program will also provide individualized mentorship assistance and group mentorship sessions facilitated by local and regional Udacity instructors, both in-person and virtually. Following program completion, students will have the option to seek further mentorship and career guidance.

Top-performing students are also allowed to access job and internship placement openings within local and regional companies. The program’s inaugural cohort commenced in March 2023, with an enrollment of 650 students, half of whom are women.

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