300 Skills Bootcamps – Resolving Skills Shortages in Cumbria

Hundreds of free, or highly subsidised, Skills Bootcamps training places are helping employers to develop the skills that they need for their business. And they are helping adults (aged 19+) to develop the skills needed to get a job or to progress in their career.


Skills Bootcamps are funded by the Department for Education through the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee. Over 300 places are available on flexible courses, running for up to 16 weeks, to help fill in-demand jobs and address future skills gaps.


In Cumbria, the focus is on construction, digital, green economy, logistics and project management as Programme Manager, Naomi Morgan form Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) explained:


“Skills Bootcamps are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to upskill their staff, including returning workers. Those taking part, including the self-employed, will benefit from either new job or career opportunities.  Learning new skills helps address current needs as well as preparing for the future. The wider economy also benefits  by creating a better skilled  workforce and creating a culture of continuous learning and development in the business.”


Gareth Gore, owner of Lakes Plumbing and Heating, completed a Skills Bootcamp in Air Source Heat Pump Upskill with the Gas Rooms in Burton-in-Kendal. He said: “You have got to continue to move and grow your business, in my view. The way that markets are shifting in our industry means that we need to be keeping up with green technologies. The funding is there, grab it and go for it.”


Trainer John Ladell added: “It is giving many self-employed engineers access to qualifications that were previously unaffordable. It should help ensure that local industry is equipped to install air source heat pumps and help Cumbria meet Net Zero. It has also increased our engagement with Cumbria’s engineers, which is important to us as a local training centre.”


Windermere Lake Cruises worked with the University of Cumbria to offer a Leadership and Management for the Visitor Economy Skills Bootcamp to its employees. Managing Director Nigel Wilkinson, explained: “This has really supported us to unlock talent in our future business leaders. Having access to cost effective, industry specific training. which is delivered locally has been a real benefit in developing our management team.”


BTP Cumbria, is running Skills Bootcamps for the construction industry in Cumbria. Keith Dymond from BTP said that the courses are great for filling short term skills gaps, are fast and rewarding for learners and that funded places means its available to those, who are unemployed or between jobs. His experience is that those who complete the course are prepared and in a good position to progress in the industry. Keith also says it means large in-county jobs could go to local people.


There are also online Skills Bootcamps as Caitlin Bourne from Scale-Ability explained: “We are running the CODE Cumbria Digital Skills Bootcamp to 22 Cumbrian residents. The aim is to teach them technical skills so they can help to fill the skills gap in the local tech industry. We are working with SME’s, such as Beaty Consultancy, as well as larger companies, such as Sellafield, to support their recruitment needs.”


The Skills Bootcamps programme in Cumbria has been developed by Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) working with local employers, providers and authorities. The places are free to individuals and the self-employed. The cost to employers is heavily subsided with SMEs having 90% of their costs met and large businesses 70% meaning that an SME can benefit from a training programme with £4,500 for £450.


Anyone interested in Skills Bootcamps can visit CLEP’s website for more information. https://www.thecumbrialep.co.uk/skills-bootcamps/

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