Facebook, Inc. Common Stock (NASDAQ:FB) announced recently that it will launch three new centers in Europe including Spain, Poland, and Italy to train one million people in digital skills for the next two years. The training is part of the social media’s firm drive to contribute to the development of the bloc. Facebook also plans to invest about $12.2 in France through its artificial intelligence research facility.
The company, which is based in the U.S. has over the years, encountered regulatory pressure in Europe over several issues including the privacy and antitrust. According to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer stated that many people are worried that despite the ongoing digital revolutions, many people are still behind the technology. Therefore, the company wants to invest more in the digital skills to empower people with necessary skills to enhance the growth of the digital economy across the globe.
The designated community hubs would provide expansive training in digital skills, media literacy, and online safety to different groups of people, who have limited access to technology, such as the refugees, young and old people. The company intends to train at least one million people and business owners by 2020.
Facebook’s recent move comes after the EU states reviewed the proposals to increase the tax bill of tech multinational companies following the pressure from the large states that have been blamed companies such as Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Apple for cutting-off their tax bills by redirecting their huge profits to low-tax EU countries such as the Luxembourg, Malta, and Ireland.
According to a report by an EU lawmaker, it’s estimated that most EU states have lost more than $6.6 billion in tax revenues from giant companies including Google and Facebook between 2013 and 2015.
Facebook plans to do in-person training for about 100,000 small-and medium-sized firms by 2020 and conduct online training for 250,000 entrepreneurs. Facebook intends to focus on the small business firms and startups to enable them to grow. The company has similar training centers in Nigeria and Brazil.