Home  > Boards and Committees > Combined Authority Board > £1.8m funding for Skills Bootcamps to help people into better jobs

£1.8m funding for Skills Bootcamps to help people into better jobs


£1.8m funding for Skills Bootcamps to help people into better jobs

£1.8 million in new funding to help more than 800 people gain sought-after digital skills to accelerate their careers has been secured by the Combined Authority.

Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

The Combined Authority Board agreed on Wednesday (July 28) to approve the contract to run Skills Bootcamps – part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs.

The contract covers Skills Bootcamps for the East of England, not just the Combined Authority area, and will focus on digital skills needed by local employers. The Combined Authority was the only successful bidder in the East of England is the lead partner in a delivery consortium.

Skills Bootcamps offer skills at Level 3 or above (Level 3 is equivalent to A-Levels, an advanced technical certificate or diploma) and aim to meet the needs of employers and the wider economy. They are for people who are aged 19 or over and who are:

  • Employed, self-employed, or;
  • career changers/returners/redeployed, or;
  • unemployed within the last 12 months.

The Department for Education has approved two providers to deliver the Skills Bootcamps; Cambridge Regional College and Purple Beard, an independent training provider.

Digital skills on offer vary from data analysis, cloud computing, DevOps, digital marketing, advanced database design and website production.

One of the effects of the pandemic is to shift skills demand in the economy, with a trend towards skills that suit an increasingly digital environment.

Delivery of the Skills Bootcamps will be completed by March 2022. For further information and to make enquiries, visit: Skills Bootcamps (growthworkswithskills.com)

Mayor of Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Dr Nik Johnson said:

“It is fantastic that the Combined Authority was able to successfully bid for £1.8 million of much needed new money to help hundreds of people in the East of England get the skills they need to secure really good jobs. The East is an unsung hero in terms of the UK economy, so it is great to able to plough this funding back into our dynamic, growing region.

“Investing in giving people the skills they need to thrive will pay itself back many times over, in terms of supporting business growth and increasing productivity.

“But even more fundamentally, the link between skills levels and health, wealth and wellbeing is clear. The Combined Authority is building a great track record in skills delivery, through our support for young people and careers, through adult education, through apprenticeships, and through our Growth Works with Skills programme, connecting people with pathways to great jobs which meet the needs of employers.”

Michelle Dowse, Deputy Principal at Cambridge Regional College said:

“We are thrilled to have been selected alongside Purple Beard as one of the two training providers in the region to help people in the East of England to enhance their digital skills and to support businesses enabling them to upskill their workforce. The pandemic has seen businesses in our region innovate and adapt to new ways of working. Our courses will help those businesses upskill and retrain their workforce with a focus on helping improve productivity including those whose workforce will continue operating from home. In addition, this is a great opportunity for those in our region seeking great careers to gain new knowledge  and skills to support them in finding these roles. This is a great result for the Combined Authority and we are delighted to be able to support this project.”

Dimple Khagram, CEO of Purple Beard, said:

“Purple Beard Training is delighted to have won the Skills Bootcamps contract in the regions and join the Government’s mission to rebuild the post-Covid world. During the past 18 months, individuals and businesses have struggled on many different levels and were forced to navigate through unpredictable landscape shifts. The UK workforce must meet the demand to reshape and transition during this time.  Purple Beard is here to help with that by boosting and building talent pipelines. Our Skills Bootcamps in DevOps, Cloud Computing, Data and Digital Leadership have been designed to address the gaps in the digital space and support the UK’s economic recovery by creating work-ready employees and retraining existing employees with our high-quality tech skills training.”