You may have read or heard about the free training offered by Skills Bootcamps, and may be wondering what Skills Bootcamps are. We’ve compiled all the information you need to decide whether Skills Bootcamps are the right training option for you. Read on to find out more.
1. What are Skills Bootcamps?
Skills Bootcamps are an initiative created by the UK government to offer free courses in certain subjects to eligible adults in England.
2. Why has the UK Government Created Skills Bootcamps?
Skills Bootcamps are formed to support the government’s commitment to help adults learn valuable skills and knowledge. The overarching goal for the creation of the Skills Bootcamps is to prepare adult learners for the economy of the future.
Through Skills Bootcamps, the government aims to help people learn the necessary knowledge and skills for new jobs in growing sectors, such as digital technology, green technologies, engineering, manufacturing.
Equally importantly, Skills Bootcamps are designed to be responsive to employers’ needs and help job seekers gain the skills to move into sectors where there are skills shortages.
Some Skills Bootcamps are designed to focus on regional skills gaps, while others aim to address national skills needs.
3. Are Skills Bootcamps Free for You?
You are an individual:
- Yes, skills bootcamps are completely free for individuals!
You are an employer:
- If you are an employer looking to use skills bootcamps to hire new employees, the bootcamps are free for you.
- If you are an employer who uses Skills Bootcamps to train existing employees, you may be able to get funding for up to 90% of the training costs.
4. Are Skills Bootcamps Hard to Get Into?
Skills bootcamps are not hard to get into if you meet the eligibility criteria.
You may apply for a skills bootcamp if you:
- are aged 19 and over
- live in England
- have the right to work in the UK
- meet residency requirements
Contact the training provider who will be able to let you know if you meet these and other requirements that may apply.
5. Which Sectors Are Skills Bootcamps Offered in?
Skills Bootcamps are offered in various sectors, ranging from digital skills to HGV driving. Below is the full list of sectors for which Skills Bootcamps are available:
- Digital skills
- Green economy
- Business administration
- Creative industries
- Health and social care
- Leadership and management
- HGV driving
You can check this page for an updated list of Skills Bootcamps training providers by sector.
6. How do Skills Bootcamps Work?
If you’re looking to change jobs or sectors, or to progress in your industry, Skills Bootcamps could give you the boost you need.
Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses that run for up to 16 weeks. They are equivalent to Levels 3 to 5.
Skills Bootcamps courses offer 2 key benefits:
1. They help you gain skills employers are looking for.
2. You will be guaranteed a job interview at the end of the course.
Skills Bootcamps courses are offered in a variety of ways, depending on the industry and the training provider. The courses can be online, on-the-job, classroom-based.
You do not need previous knowledge for most Skills Bootcamps. You just need a good grasp of the English language and the willingness to learn new skills.
7. Can You Put Skills Bootcamps on Your CV?
Yes, absolutely! Having Skills Bootcamps on your resume will show prospective employers that you have taken the initiative to acquire skills that are relevant to the sector.
Adding the skills and knowledge you gain from Skills Bootcamps will help burnish your CV and make you stand out as a candidate.
8. Are Skills Bootcamps Enough to Get a Job?
You will be guaranteed a job interview at the end of a Skills Bootcamp course. However, there is no guarantee of a job.
Nevertheless, Skills Bootcamps will help you get skills that employers are looking for. This may help give your application an edge over other candidates.
9. Are Skills Bootcamps Worth Your Time?
The Department for Education (DfE) commissioned Ofsted to carry out a survey of Skills Bootcamps to know if Skills Bootcamps are providing a high-quality learning experience.
Ofsted’s report in November 2022 reveals that overall, learners appreciate the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills in Skills Bootcamps courses. However, there are a few areas that require improvements.
Positive findings from Ofsted’s report:
- Overall, training providers have developed a wide range of Skills Bootcamps in technical and digital courses to help learners move into fields where there are skills shortages.
- In most cases, the training programmes are responsive to addressing employers’ skill needs.
- Most providers organised the curriculum appropriately.
- The learning resources and materials used are of a high quality.
- Most Skills Bootcamps courses included opportunities for learners to gain a variety of skills, develop their professional and personal behaviours, as well as learning the vocational content of the course.
Areas that need improvement:
- The quality of teaching was not consistently high.
- Rigorous initial assessments were not carried out in many cases, meaning training providers cannot fully measure learners’ progress.
- A minority of courses did not allow learners enough opportunity to master skills to a suitable level.
- Some training providers had not ensured that each learner was guaranteed a job interview.
- At a few providers, the overall purpose of the training courses was unclear.
Based on Ofsted’s findings, we would say that if you are interested in gaining the skills to change careers or progress in your current one, Skills Bootcamps are worth exploring. However, when you contact the training provider, be sure to check that they are able to meet your learning needs.