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Unlocking Potential: Are Skills Bootcamps too good to be true?

In an era of rapid technological advancements and evolving job markets, staying ahead of the curve is essential for both individuals and businesses. Recognising the need for upskilling, the Department for Education (DfE) has introduced Skills Bootcamps, a heavily funded and revolutionary initiative designed to bridge the skills gap and empower the workforce.

Unlocking Potential: Are Skills Bootcamps too good to be true?

During the latest Wave 5 programme starting in April 2024, CLEP have been awarded £1,534,786.00 to fund 400 learner places for Cumbria and are looking to engage businesses, keeping employers at the heart of skills training.

That equates to an average of almost £4000 per individual, to train them to be upskilled and ultimately help generate better performance and improved profitability for your business.

  1. Targeted Skill Development:
    One of the primary advantages of Skills Bootcamps is their focused and targeted approach to skill development. These intensive programs are designed in collaboration with industry experts and businesses to address specific skills shortages, ensuring that participants acquire the most relevant and in-demand competencies. For employers looking to hire, this means access to a pool of talent with precisely the skills needed to drive their businesses forward.
  2. Rapid Upskilling:
    Traditional education pathways often take several years to produce a skilled workforce but Skills Bootcamps, on the other hand, run for a maximum of 16 weeks and courses can be a lot shorter providing they fulfil the minimum guided learning hours (typically 60). This rapid upskilling is ideal for employers needing to adapt quickly with new technologies or changing market demands, maintaining a competitive edge.
  3. Customised Training Solutions:
    DfE funded Skills Bootcamps offer a high degree of customisation, allowing employers to tailor training programs to meet the specific needs of their business. This flexibility ensures that employees gain skills directly applicable to their roles, resulting in increased productivity and efficiency. Employers can collaborate with training providers to design a curriculum that aligns with their business objectives, creating a win-win situation for both parties.
  4. Too Good to be True:
    So why does the Skill Bootcamp programme feel too good to be true? 90% funding for SMEs and 70% funding for large businesses is a heavily discounted programme, with self -employed learners being fully funded. Yes, there is an inherent cost in upskilling staff but there is an additional cost if businesses don’t have the skills they need, or employees leave for pastures new. Investing in the professional development of employees through Skills Bootcamps sends a powerful message of commitment and support to staff. When workers feel valued and equipped with the tools to succeed, they are more likely to stay in their current employment.

This multi-faceted programme is seeing some fantastic results for Cumbria, we’ve celebrated new jobs, new contracts and opportunities working in partnership with CLEP’s training providers.

The future of the programme will be what businesses make of it and I would urge you to start thinking about your skills needs, to work with local training providers, the university, and colleges to get those skills funded via Skills Bootcamps.

Like one of our learners said, “The funding is there, grab it and go for it”.

To find out more and discuss your skills requirements, please contact Skills Bootcamp Programme Manager, Naomi Morgan, at

Find out more about the Skills Bootcamp programme on our website.

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