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Further £1.8m available for Skills Bootcamps to support people into high quality jobs

The Heart of the South West LEP has secured £1.8 million 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 22 technical Skills Bootcamps offer adults aged 19 or over the opportunity to build up or retrain in specific 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, Dorset and the West of England. They are open to people who are unemployed, self-employed, returning to work or to independent learners who are looking to advance their skills into higher paid employment in sectors and jobs that are more resilient to changing economic conditions.

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 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.

This funding follows the £2.2m that the LEP secured at the end of 2020, which saw more than 800 people benefit from the first wave of training programmes.

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 welding, engineering, micro-electronics, marine and photonics. 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.”

Mary Payne, Nuclear Workforce Development Manager, said: “These Skills Bootcamps will enable people across the South West to upskill and increase their attractiveness to local employers, many of whom are struggling to fill open job vacancies now. Completing a Skills Bootcamp can also give a boost to midlife career changers and people looking to live and work in the region; making the best use of this opportunity will contribute to the success of the regional economy’.

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 nine partners including Babcock, Bath College, Bournemouth and Poole College, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Focus Training, South Devon College, Train4All, Truro & Penwith College and Weston College. Most Skills Bootcamps will be delivered face to face whilst others will be delivered online.

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