Facebook on Monday said it would be opening three new training centers across Europe for digital training and committed to the training of more than one million people during the next two years as part of the giant in social media’s drive to show the contribution it makes to the European Union.
The U.S. based company, which has been pressured by regulators in European due to issues that ranged from antitrust to privacy, said it would be opening three community skills hubs in Italy, Poland and Spain, and would be investing €10 million or $12.2 million in France via its facility of artificial intelligence research.
People worry that the digital revolution has left and continues to leave people behind and Facebook wants to make sure we invest in digital skills so people have the skills needed to fully take part in today’s digital economy said Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg.
The community hubs are going to offer training in media literacy, digital skills, as well as online to those groups that have a limited access to technology which includes older people, refugees and the young.
Facebook has also committed to training one million people including business owners before the start of 2020.
Facebook’s move has come as the EU members are discussing proposals to increase taxes for tech multinationals following pressure from the larger states in the bloc that accuse companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google of slashing tax bills through the re-routing of EU profits to countries with low tax rates such as Ireland and Luxembourg.
Smaller EU nations, such as Malta or Luxembourg, argue the EU move on tax reform would hurt its economy thus favor competitors.
EU states could have lost €5.4 billion in revenues from taxes from Facebook and Google from 2013 to 2015 according to an EU lawmaker’s report in 2017.
Executives at Facebook are spreading out all over Europe during the week to address the slow response by the social media giant to abuses on its site, as it seeks to avoid any further legislation similar to the new law for hate speech in Germany it says is an overstep.
Through the company’s Community Boost EU program, it will work with the smaller businesses as well as startups to aid them in growth and hiring.
Facebook said it is going to conduct training in-person to 100,000 business that are small and medium by 2020 and training online to more than 250,000 business.