Skills Bootcamps are free, flexible courses of up to 16 weeks for adults aged 19 or over. They give people the opportunity to build up valuable sector-specific skills based on local employer demand and provide a direct path to a job on completion.
Skills Bootcamps are primarily aimed at delivering flexible training at levels 3-5 (medium to higher level technical skills), and level 2 in some sectors.
They are co-designed or shaped with employers to respond to their skills shortages.
This training is for adults who are either in work, self-employed, unemployed or returning to work after a break.
Skills Bootcamps are also open to serving prisoners due to be released within 6 months of completing a Skills Bootcamp and those on temporary release.
Skills Bootcamps are available in:
- digital courses such as digital marketing or coding
- technical training in areas like construction, logistics (HGV driving) or engineering
- green skills, for instance solar energy or agriculture technology
Employers can work with training providers to develop and deliver Skills Bootcamps to help them fill skill shortage vacancies.
There is no cost to employers who recruit individuals who have completed a Skills Bootcamp.
Employers contribute to the cost of training if they want to use Skills Bootcamps to train their existing employees.
Large employers contribute 30% of the cost, and small or medium employers (SMEs) contribute 10%.
Existing employees may need time to study and attend classes depending on their working hours and status and the flexibility of the course.
Employers responsibilities may include:
- a safe work environment
- an induction which includes explaining relevant policies and procedures
- a line manager to support, supervise and mentor the student
- a guaranteed interview as part of the Skills Bootcamp provision
Benefits of Skills Bootcamps
They help your business:
- develop a loyal and talented workforce with the skills you need quickly
- futureproof your business in a rapidly changing labour market
- improve your productivity; learners are motivated to learn new skills, provide new ideas and a fresh perspective
- recruit staff with the right training and skills from the outset
- get access to a pipeline of skilled adults by working with existing Skills Bootcamp providers
This scheme can lead to an Accelerated Apprenticeship, which could offer benefits to both the apprentice and the employer.
Apprentices who have some prior knowledge or skills before starting their apprenticeship can have this recognised as prior learning.
This means the apprentice should be able to complete their programme quicker, as training they are already experienced in, can be removed from their training plan, and doesn’t need to be repeated.
This allows employees to complete the scheme in less time and cost to the employer.
Those likely to be able to accelerate their apprenticeships include existing employees using apprenticeships to upskill into more senior roles, and those who have completed another related qualification, for example a T-Level or Skills Bootcamp.
Find out how other businesses are using Skills Bootcamps:
Wise, software and solutions
Birmingham-based technology company, Wise, specialises in the self-employment sector, providing software and solutions to support over 250 UK logistics firms in engaging their self-employed workforce. Wise also provides a time-saving app for subcontractors to use. With a passion for creating a diverse and inclusive pathway into the technology industry for people of all ages and backgrounds, Wise explored the training opportunities available via Skills Bootcamps.
James Orton, Chief Product and Technology Officer at Wise
"I was aware of School of Code and their Digital Skills Bootcamp, offering anyone the chance to retrain and learn vital coding skills from true experts within an industry-focused environment. This really appealed to us as a route to bringing in the necessary skills we required from a digital perspective.
"Hiring a diverse range of candidates through this Skills Bootcamp has been an integral part of how our business has grown. Whether it’s been software developers, project managers or designers, all our Skills Bootcamp graduates have arrived with enthusiasm and crucially, a real hunger to carry on improving their skills within their role.
"The ethos at Wise is that you should never stop learning and that goes for every role within the company, whether you are the CEO, a senior developer or a junior marketeer, there is always something you can learn. That remains one of the biggest attractions for us as a company to a Skills Bootcamp like the ones delivered by School of Code, as they embed the idea of lifelong learning into all of their graduates."
Get involved in Skills Bootcamps
You can get involved in Skills Bootcamps by:
- finding training providers who are currently being funded to deliver Skills Bootcamps that are relevant to your sector
- T Levels: industry placements
- Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP)
- Skills Bootcamps
- Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQs)
- Supported Internships for learners with an education, health and care plan
- Care-Leaver covenant
- Employing prisoners and prison leavers
- Free courses and additional training for your employees