On Monday, Facebook announced that it will open three new centers in Europe for training people in digital skills. The social media giant said that in the next two years, it would train around one million people as part of its move to show how it contributes to the bloc. The US firm has faced considerable regulatory pressure in Europe over a different issues ranging from antitrust to privacy. It said that they would invest $12.2 million or 10 million euros in France via its artificial intelligence research facility and would open its three training centers in Poland, Spain and Italy.
The chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg said that everyone was worried about the digital revolution that it is leaving some people behind. She stated that they wanted to make sure that everyone could acquire the digital skills needed for participating in this digital economy. These community hubs will provide training in media literacy, digital skills and online safety to those who have limited access to technology, which includes the young and the old and also the refugees. The social network also committed that by 2020, they would train about one million people and business owners.
Sandberg said that they wanted people to see that they were investing in technology, doing it locally and investing in people. This announcement by Facebook comes as the EU states are discussing proposals for raising the tax bill international tech firms after large states have put some pressure. They have accused firms such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple of reducing their tax bills by moving their EU profits to countries like Ireland and Luxembourg that have a low-tax rate. Malta and Luxembourg and other smaller EU countries have argued that a move on corporate tax reform by the EU would favor competitors and damage their economy.
Last year, an EU lawmaker published a report in which it was stated that 5.4 billion euros in tax revenues could have been lost by European Union states from Facebook and Google between 2013 and 2015. This week, executives from Facebook are going to fan out across Europe for addressing the slow response by the company to abuses on its network. The social media giant is hoping to avoid any further legislation similar to the new hate speech law introduced in Germany. Facebook will use its Community Boost EU program for working with startups and small businesses to aid them in expanding and hiring.
It stated that by 2020, they would provide in-person training to about 100,000 small and also medium-sized businesses and 250,000 businesses would be provided online training. The executive of the European Union has stressed on the need for people to have digital skills in Europe in order to help reduce the unemployment rate and allow Europe to establish their own digital giant. Similar centers have been opened by Facebook in other countries such as Brazil and Nigeria and Sandberg said that when small businesses use technology and Facebook, they are more likely to hire people.