Google has today announced the official launch of a program to cultivate a new generation of graduates and executives in the UK advertising industry.

Squared (not to be confused with Google Squared, a Wolfram Alpha-style search product that launched in 2009 and was shut down in 2011) is a partnership between Google, the IPA (the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) and Impact International. It aims to boost the digital, technological and leadership skills of university graduates and higher-level agency employees during a free, six-week course.

The program will take place in dedicated premises on London’s Tottenham Court Road starting next month. It’s no small deal either, Google says that 160 graduates and 500 senior management executives from the UK advertising industry will take Squared classes over the next year.

The course will see participants trained by what Google promises will be the top advertising industry practitioners. They will also receive talks from volunteer experts in particular fields. Once through the course, graduates will receive a Squared qualification and gain access to an alumnus network.

With the broad scope of its activities, it’s easy to forget that Google is at its heart an advertising company that relies on that sector for the vast majority of it revenues. Creating more tech-savvy people in the industry should ultimately be a win for Google.

A trial run of Squared took place at Google’s London offices last year. The team behind the initiative has been running various talks and event over the past year and also published a State of the Industry Report in May 2012. An online version of the course is in the works, so that it can be taken remotely.

If you’re interested in finding out more, head to the Squared page on (where else?) Google+ or the website, where you can register to receive more information about the online course.

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