Train4Tomorrow skills bootcamps are supporting adults across the South West to upskill or re-train to meet regional skills gaps in digital and technical sectors.
As part of the programme, training providers across the region are offering 12-16 week intensive training courses to encourage adults to retrain in in-demand sectors including welding.
Welding has traditionally been considered a male dominated career. According to an article by Free2Learn, only 12% of the engineering workforce is female. However, programmes such as the Train4Tomorrow welding skills bootcamps are helping to address this imbalance by making welding and other technical courses accessible to everyone.
Bridgwater & Taunton College, Bath College, Bournemouth & Poole College and Truro and Penwith College are amongst the training providers offering free courses to adults aged 19+ who are employed or self-employed, career returners or those who have been unemployed for less than 12 months and looking to upskill or re-train as part of the Train4Tomorrow programme.
One learner who has taken advantage of the opportunity to retrain is former dog-groomer Emily Waterman who is taking part in the Welding bootcamp at Train4All.
Emily said: “I’d seen my husband welding and was always fascinated by how it worked. I had no background experience, but saw a welding course advertised at Train4All in Somerset and knew I had to take part. The Train4Tomorrow course has given me the chance to invest in myself and my career completely for free.
“I’ve used my newly developed welding skills to make a life-size jumping horse ornament for my mum’s 60th birthday, made entirely out of horseshoes which I’m really proud of.
“I’m confident that at the end of the 16 week course I will be able to find employment in welding, but my real passion is to teach young women to have the confidence to give welding a go. Welding may traditionally be a man’s world but women are just as good at it, if not better, and I’d love to see more women enter this really rewarding and well paid sector.”
Another woman who has benefited from the Train4Tomorrow welding bootcamp is Jac Bunney.
Jac said: “I loved metal work when I was at school in the 80s, but a career in welding just wasn’t something which was considered an option for girls back then.”
After trying her hand at a number of different careers, Jac wanted to pursue metal work which she remembered enjoying in her school days.
Jac said: “Now that my children have grown up and left home, I felt it was time to do something for me, so when I saw the Train4Tomorrow welding bootcamp at Truro & Penwith College advertised I jumped at the chance. I absolutely love it and it’s definitely the way I want to take my career.”
When it comes to working in a traditionally male dominated sector Jac said: “Being a woman in welding has never been a problem for me and I have always been made to feel really welcome. I have known for a long time that welding is my passion and for me it doesn’t matter whether you are male or female, if you’re passionate about something you should pursue it.”
Simone Tyrie, Employment & Skills Project Coordinator at Train4Tomorrow said: “The Train4Tomorrow programme offers adults in the South West access to free and flexible training programmes with little or no experience required. The courses, which are worth up to £3,000 have been developed in response to regional skills gaps and help to support people into secure and well-paid employment. As well as being free, the courses run for an intensive 12-16 weeks, meaning people juggling employment, and or careering responsibilities can gain skills really quickly, and start putting them into practice as soon as they complete the course.”
The Train4Tomorrow bootcamps are aimed at learners aged 19+ who are employed or self-employed, career returners or those who have been unemployed for less than 12 months and looking to upskill or re-train, giving adults in the South West the chance to invest in themselves for free.
As well as welding, courses include Cyber Security, Digital Marketing, Woodland Management, Construction, Marine Electrical and much more.
If you’re looking to learn new skills or to update your existing knowledge visit train4tomorrow.org.uk to discover a range of digital and technical courses.