Four new areas will be able to access skills bootcamps with the government’s latest expansion of the flagship programme.
As well as £1.4 million for these new areas, the Department for Education has also allocated £3.5 million to high-performing existing bootcamp providers and authorities to deliver additional places.
A DfE spokesperson said the areas funded to start bootcamps “have evidenced capacity to start testing delivery to address skill shortages in those areas” in financial year 2021/22.
“It has always been our intention to expand the range of training available this financial year to ensure that adults across the country can access and benefit from this transformational offer where it aligns with demand from local employers.”
The new areas receiving funding for bootcamps are:
- Lancashire LEP/Council
- Hull and East Yorkshire LEP/Hull City Council
- Tees Valley Combined Authority
- North of Tyne Combined Authority.
Outcomes of success for these new bootcamps will be the same as for existing courses, the department says, including a new full or part time job or apprenticeship, a new or increased role with their current employer or access to new opportunities for self-employed people.
Independent providers handed extra funding for high-quality bootcamps
The funding for existing bootcamp providers is to support “both high quality delivery and capacity to deliver additional training places to learners within this financial year,” the spokesperson said.
The areas receiving funding for extra places are:
- Liverpool City Region
- Greater Manchester Combined Authority
- West Midlands Combined Authority and West Yorkshire Combined Authority
As well as providers:
- Just IT
Speaking about this new funding, West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “Our bootcamps have been a great success and provided a clear pathway for people to move into work, and so I am delighted that we can now continue our great work and get more residents the skills they need to move into the high-quality, well-paid jobs of the future.”
New funding comes ahead of spending review boost
The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) was a midwife of the bootcamp programme, which grew out of the authority’s Beat the Bots fund providing training to people with few digital skills or whose jobs were at risk of automation.
After a national rollout of bootcamp training was announced by prime minister Boris Johnson in September, WMCA was also part of the first phase of pilot providers in 2020.
Following a second phase which ended earlier this year, bootcamps went national with providers announced in spring and summer 2021 – despite the fact contracts were meant to start in March.
New bootcamps to train or retrain heavy goods vehicle drivers are set to start in the new year.
Bootcamps deliver 16 weeks of training in areas such as digital, construction and green skills for unemployed and employed people with a guaranteed job interview at the end for the former.
They were launched with £8 million and have been handed part of a £554 million boost in last year’s spending review for the National Skills Fund.
The department stressed the funding for high-performing existing bootcamp providers and new areas is not connected to the spending review money, with details about that set to be announced “in due course”.
An evaluation published in October found the government is oblivious to how many people from the first wave of its flagship skills bootcamps secured a job or received a pay rise due to unreliable data.
A key finding was that 81 per cent (56) of 69 respondents who had completed their course said they were not offered a job interview at the end of their course, despite this being a supposedly guaranteed part of the problem.