If you are looking to quickly increase your skills in a specific area and fast-track into a new job or get ahead with your current employer, a Skills Bootcamp could be the right choice for you.
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.
They are being developed as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs in partnership with employers, providers and local authorities, to help people develop the skills that are in demand in their local area and get a new job or better position at work. Skills Bootcamps are available in regions across England for adults aged 19 and above, with a range of digital courses, technical skills courses and green courses like Electrical Vehicle Maintenance and Construction and Retrofitting, which are currently on offer.
After you’ve completed the course, you could use your new skills to get a new job, or you could take a Skills Bootcamp with the support of your employer to move into a higher-skilled role in your existing place of work.
If you’re not sure whether doing a Skills Bootcamp would fit around your life, hear from adults who have taken up the opportunity.
Will I be able to switch into a new sector after doing a Skills Bootcamp?
Skills Bootcamps have been set up to give you the essential sector-specific skills needed to enter a new industry. There’s a range of digital, technical and green courses available, so if you’re considering a new type of work like coding or welding, but you have no previous experience, don’t let this deter you. Skills Bootcamp courses will help you gain the key skills needed.
Carl McIntosh previously worked in printing, but when the pandemic hit, he lost his job. This gave him the chance to pursue his interest in coding and tech, but with no experience Carl needed a course that would teach him the essential skills. After completing a Skills Bootcamp in Coding, Carl said he can now “go on to specialise in a range of areas, because the course covers front-end and back-end technologies.”
As a result of the fast-track interview offered at the end of his course, Carl gained a position as a Junior Software Engineer at Wise and reflects that “everyone around me knew I needed a change in career, and I’m so glad I decided to go for it – I’m now much happier and more passionate about my role.”
Will learning new skills through a Skills Bootcamp genuinely lead to better job?
Skills Bootcamps are designed in partnership with local employers to help meet skills needs in your area. The skills you learn on a Skills Bootcamp will put you in a strong position to get a better job with more stability and a higher salary in the area you have chosen. Many of your existing skills are also more transferrable than you think and will help boost your employability.
Before doing a Skills Bootcamp, Dan Watson was a personal trainer but decided that with a baby on the way, he wanted to move into a new sector with better earning potential and security. He said: “The course covered a diverse range of areas, including content that matched local demand, as well as soft skills, interview prep and CV improvement, so it was always focussed on helping us back into good employment.
“I got a new role as a Junior Digital Project Manager and I’m now earning more than I earnt before and there are so many more opportunities for me to progress. It’s been a real life changer!”
I’m already employed, can I take a Skills Bootcamp?
Most Skills Bootcamps are available whilst you’re in employment so you can develop skills to help you get into a new team or role. It’s worth asking your employer about participating in a Skills Bootcamp. They will be able to help you decide if it’s something that could benefit you in work and if they would be happy for you to study alongside your job.
During the pandemic, Sabeena Severin left her role in Events Management and gained a new role at a retail and manufacturing company. She discovered that the company was keen to build its data expertise and she took this opportunity, along with her interest in digital, to approach her employer about taking a Skills Bootcamp in Data Science. They agreed Sabeena could take a Skills Bootcamp while continuing to work in her current position.
After completing the course, Sabina said she asked if there were any opportunities within the business where she could continue using her new skills: “They actually created a new role for me as an E-Commerce Administrator. Now I’m able to build on my skills and I’m really enjoying what I do. I feel reassured that it’s such an important and growing area to work in, with lots of opportunity!”
Will the skills help me get ahead in work?
The skills you learn on a Skills Bootcamp could help you advance in your current profession. If you joined a company without a lot of experience, but you’re keen to input more and progress, then a Skills Bootcamp could boost your understanding and ability. It will also show your employer that you are enthusiastic about getting ahead and contributing to the company.
Emma Gillgrass worked in a junior role in a marketing team but wanted to increase her confidence and understanding. With the support of her employer, she took a Skills Bootcamp in digital marketing and since graduating has felt like a more valued member of the team.
Emma said: “Learning feels more essential than ever – the job market seems a lot more competitive and demanding than it used to be, so taking courses like Skills Bootcamps means you have another string to your bow that can help you within work.”
How can I get started?
Visit gov.uk/free-courses-for-jobs to find out if a Skills Bootcamp could fast-track you to a better job.
If you would like help choosing a course or advice on your job options, get in touch via webchat at nationalcareers.service.gov.uk/contact-us or by phone on 0800 100 900.