Published date 5 August 2021

New Skills Bootcamps to connect people to employment

A consortium of local universities, further education (FE) colleges, councils, enterprise partners and Deloitte are working together to respond to the UK’s digital skills gap, with a focus on the South West. This consortium has been chosen by the Department for Education (DfE) to deliver a series of funded Skills Bootcamps in digital subjects at locations across the region. This programme of Skills Bootcamps will provide learners with best-in-class digital skills courses, deliver resilient pathways to work and create a new, skilled talent pool for local employers.

The University of Bath (the consortium lead), Bath Spa University, the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), Wiltshire College & University Centre and Gloucestershire University have collaborated with the Institute of Coding (IoC), iStart/Restart, Deloitte and Digital Engineering Technology and Innovation (DETI) to develop and deliver six new Skills Bootcamps offering short courses in critically needed digital skills. Topics will include creative computing, cyber security, data science, software engineering, games development and agritech.

These Skills Bootcamps will be provided in close collaboration with the Department for Work and Pensions, local Jobcentres, the West of England Combined Authority, Swindon and Wiltshire local enterprise partnerships (LEP) and the GFirst LEP (based in Gloucester). These groups will provide links to local employers to ensure that Skills Bootcamp learners find meaningful employment upon the successful completion of their course.

This builds on work by each of the partners to create new pathways to digital skills and represents the local component of the national initiative of IoC-led Skills Bootcamps.

Through this collaborative approach, consortium members will ensure that each step of the Skills Bootcamp journey is high-quality and tailored to meet the needs of employers and those looking to upskill to boost their employability. Prospective learners and interested employers can learn more about the Skills Bootcamps on offer at

West of England Mayor Dan Norris, who has pledged to secure good jobs and training for the region, said: “I’m delighted that more local people will benefit from these digital bootcamps to improve their skills and get on the fast-track to an interview with an employer. From artificial intelligence to cyber security, everywhere I go I’m finding more and more demand for workers with tech skills. Well done to the Institute of Coding for being named as the region-wide provider of these courses. I saw first-hand at my recent jobs and skills summit the world-class talent at the Institute for Coding so I know we will be in excellent hands.”

Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bath, said “As the consortium lead, we’re delighted that the Government has named us as a provider for the Skills Bootcamps in the South West region. Through the provision of six Skills Bootcamps, our partners will create more than 200 funded places for learners to upskill and reskill in key digital topics. Beyond this best-in-class teaching provision, we are also creating robust pathways to employment through our respected engagement and delivery partners, who have forged connections with local and regional employers.”

Professor Rachid Hourizi, Director of the Institute of Coding, said: “The Institute of Coding is pleased to be involved in this regional collaboration to level up digital skills in the South West region. Building on our existing provision, the new Skills Bootcamps will provide accessible and rapid digital skills education to the people that need it, creating more digital talent to power the region’s economy.”

Ian Washington, partner in Deloitte’s consulting practice, said: “Deloitte is delivering the digital infrastructure that will underpin many areas of this important programme. Skills Bootcamps will give people across the South West access to digital skills training and new job opportunities with businesses that are urgently in need of tech-savvy employees. This collaboration builds on our existing programme of activity dedicated to skills development across the South West region.”

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