Bootcamps are intense training courses which will support people from target groups with the correct enthusiasm, skills and attributes to take part in an intensive upskilling course which will equip learners with the specific skills employers are demanding in specific shortage areas of digital skills.
The timing of the training is based around employer need, but typically around 12 weeks for a full-time course and up to 24 weeks for a part time course.
Training aims to get residents back into jobs through targeted training, rebuilding businesses and strengthening inclusion. Priority groups include unemployed, those in low paid work and underrepresented groups
Different funded bootcamps may have slightly different eligibility criteria. For training delivered as part of the Digital Skills Investment Programme participants must be 19 years old and be a resident in Bath and North and East Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
To ensure this free training supports those who can post benefit individuals must be disproportionately affected by COVID or underrepresented in the industry. This could include:
Bootcamps are not for all learners. They are intensive and delivery partners will work to ensure any perspective participant has the right attitude and attributes to be successful. Delivery partners may refer interested individuals to other provision which is more suited to their needs.
The West of England Combined Authority are not the only organisation funding bootcamp style courses in the region so you may come across other bootcamps other than those being funded through the Digital Skills Investment Programme.
Regionally and nationally the Department for Education deliver Skills Bootcamp training in areas of digital, technical, and wider sector areas. To find out more view this list of skills bootcamps.
Courses are designed in close collaboration with employers who are feeding into every stage of design, delivery and wrap around support for participants throughout the training.
Training is designed to ensure individuals are in the best possible position to enter the digital industry or digital roles and will have a guaranteed interview as a minimum at the end of the training.
As these bootcamps are designed to support groups disproportionately affected by COVID or underrepresented in the sector training providers and their consortia partners are working hard to remove barriers and provide wrap around holistic support to ensure individuals have the best possible change of success and retention within the sector.
Open the tabs on the right to open case studies and find out how participants have benefitted from enrolling in Digital Skills Bootcamps.
I joined this Bootcamp as an educated unemployed mature lady in my 50s with a severe hearing impairment. I have been struggling to find work as I can no longer hear over the telephone so I had been seeking a career change that enabled me to use my strengths whilst not needing a telephone for communication. I had long been interested in a digital media career but didn’t have a degree in the subject.
The Bootcamp was well run and presented an overview of all the areas you can experience in a digital marketing career. The teaching was excellent and I learned a great deal in a short space of time. I felt very supported during my time on the bootcamp and the tutors always made themselves available for everyone.
More importantly, I was blown away with the assistance and support received from the course management team with regards my hearing disability. They went out of their way to provide expensive hearing equipment and ensured that all lectures were captioned on my computer and mobile phone with various captioning app technologies. The networking and company visits were incredible opportunities as well.
What has been an amazing outcome from this Bootcamp for me personally, is I have been out of work for a long time and have not been getting job interviews, The week the bootcamp ended I had a job interview as a marketing assistant, which I didn’t get and I have another interview this week for the role of a Digital Communications Officer. These job opportunities speak volumes about how wonderful these skilled Bootcamps are in helping people back into work and improving their opportunities in the workplace.
I cannot recommend these skilled Bootcamps highly enough – they provide learners with a wonderful experience for growth and learning and the skills to get a job once the Bootcamp has ended.
For me, this course was exactly the right content at exactly the right time.
Following redundancy in 2020 and an on-going job search where I repeatedly made the final interview but not the chosen candidate, I decided that some upskilling to stay on the right side of the ‘digital divide’ would be helpful. When I saw the ad for the bootcamp it seemed that it might well be the answer.
The cohort of students were friendly and from a mix of professional backgrounds and we were all able to contribute and learn from each other. The tuition was outstanding and covered core planned elements as well as topics requested. Group work on practical tasks and projects was valuable experience.
Ffion, a new small business owner, was directed to the Digital Marketing Bootcamp through her Future Bright career progression coach Karen. “Karen linked me up with the course manager. She has encouraged me to apply for a variety of different opportunities which have led to interesting outcomes so I trusted this course would benefit me”. Ffion is currently attending the Digital Marketing Bootcamp so that she can study marketing theory, which will in turn hopefully increase sales and develop her business.
Ffion has said that the knowledge gained from the Digital Marketing Bootcamp has been invaluable, “I feel significantly more aware and in control of the marketing aspect of my business. I really appreciate the mature stance that the teachers of the bootcamp take on attendance and coursework. I have enjoyed taking a practical and applied approach to learning with them. They encourage us to work as much as we can around our work and home life, which relieves any pressure. Due to this learning environment, I feel like I have been able to tailor the course to my own business and have enjoyed a creative approach to the work”.
Ffion is still on her journey with Future Bright as well and has said “I have found Future Bright a massively useful service. I have noticed that after every phone call with Karen I feel so much more confident and productive. I have had a great experience working with Karen. She has researched and found open calls for artist residencies and encouraged me to apply; assisted me with grant applications by proof reading; as well as being hugely supportive and kind. I will be sad when I have to part ways with Future Bright”.
I was having a bit of a ‘what am I doing with my life’ crisis and spoke to my boss about changing careers. She sent me a link to the course and I didn’t even tell anyone else that I applied because I really didn't think I would get a place. I’ve always loved gaming and wanted to get into the industry in some capacity, but prior to starting the course I thought programming would be too difficult.
In a few weeks, I’ll be entering my first game jam with some people on the course. I definitely
didn’t think I would have the courage to do a jam so early into learning, but having the support of the course makes it seem much less daunting. Generally, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy programming as much as I do. At the start of the course I really struggled with wanting to put all my energy into it, but not having the capacity to due to struggles with my health. I am now being a bit more kind to myself and trying to be proud of everything I have learnt so far. If I compare my skills to when the course first began, I’ve definitely learned a lot and I’m really proud of that.
My aspirations to get out of the course at the beginning were to network with people currently active in the Bristol games making world, so I can be a part of it.
The other main aspiration has been to prepare myself for the guaranteed job interview we get to partake in. It has helped with other anxieties too such as public speaking, as I’ve been getting familiar with speaking on camera to explain things or ask for help.
Next I want to improve my Twitch professionalism and get people watching who are interested in games development, make my game more complex, help others achieve their multimedia goals and have a full time job in a company who create media for VR.
As part of the West of England Combined Authorities’ wider Recovery Fund the £2m Digital Skills Investment Fund will support over 1,200 residents to increase their digital skills capability to achieve better earning potential and support businesses to gain the digital skills they need quickly as a result of COVID.
This fund supports individuals to increase skills at both baseline and lower level and medium and higher level training increasing confidence, accessibility and capacity in further digital skills related training.
Training is targeted at areas of priority need by employers. There has been a range of training funded so far, find out more about the Digital Skills Investment Programme.