The Heart of the South West LEP has secured £750,000 of funding from the Department for Education’s National Skills Fund to extend its current programme of Skills Bootcamps across the region.
Comprising flexible courses lasting up to 16 weeks’ duration, the eight additional Skills Bootcamps offer adults aged 19 or over the opportunity to build up or retrain in specific digital skills required by employers across the Heart of the South West LEP area, as well as in Dorset, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and the West of England.
Part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee, these Skills Bootcamps are offered free of charge to residents in Devon, Somerset, Cornwall, and Dorset. They are open to people who are unemployed, self-employed, returning to work, or to independent learners who are looking to advance their digital skills into higher paid employment in sectors that urgently require those skills.
Residents who are employed can also take advantage of the Skills Bootcamps, but their employer will need to cover 30% of the cost. More information about eligibility and details of how to register can be found at www.Train4Tomorrow.org.uk. Employers who are interested in supporting the Skills Bootcamps, by shaping the content of the programme or by interviewing successful course completers, can also register their interest via this link.
In the past six months, the LEP has secured £4.7m of funding to boost skills in the region. In late 2020, £2.2m of funding was awarded which saw more than 800 people benefit from the first wave of training programmes. Earlier this month a further £1.8m of funding was secured to deliver Skills Bootcamps in technical skills.
Vince Flower, chair of Heart of the South West Skills Advisory Panel, said: “We know that the regional economy is hampered by shortages of skills such as software development, cyber security, cloud architecture, and digital marketing. The Skills Bootcamps will offer training in these areas in response to employer demand and give the participants the opportunity to get high quality jobs in key sectors within our region. Everyone who completes a Skills Bootcamp will have the opportunity to fast-track to an interview with a local employer.”
Charlotte Collyer, Digital Skills Partnership Manager, said “We are very pleased that the region will benefit from a further round of funding and that we can offer a new round of Train4Tomorrow Skills Bootcamps that will run until March 2022. Learners who participated in Skills Bootcamps earlier in the year have shared incredible stories of how it has helped them transition careers during the pandemic or learn new skills that have enabled their business to survive. The Skills Bootcamps represent up to £4,000 of free training which is a huge help to anyone considering a career change in areas where those skills are in high demand”.
Some Skills Bootcamps will be starting in late July 2021 and all will be completed by March 2022. They will be delivered with the support of four partners including Bluescreen IT, Bournemouth and Poole College Petroc, and Truro & Penwith College. The bootcamps offer a mix of online and face to face delivery.