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WMCA launches next round of digital bootcamps, unveils £21M funding

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has launched the next round of digital bootcamps. This round of digital bootcamps is intended to improving the digital capabilities of residents across West Midlands.

Next round of WMCA digital bootcamps

The WMCA digital bootcamps are free of charge for learners. It will equip the residents of West Midlands with digital skills, thereby enabling them to access roles in areas inclduing coding, cybersecurity and digital marketing. It support those who are unemployed, seeking a change in the career, and employees looking to gain the required digital skills to secure a promotion in their current job.

With a £7 million grant, WMCA has piloted over 30 digital bootcamps and train around 2,000 adults who are unemployed or involved in low-paid jobs with essential tech skills. As this turned out to be successful, WMCA decided to bolster its bootcamp provision with more funding.

Now, £21 million has been made available from the Adult Education Budget to support the new bootcamps over the next three years, with a target of supporting over 4,000 people. These new bootcamps will run from November 2021 to October 2024.

Each bootcamp will be delivered by a training provider that has expertise in technology and digital skills with links to businesses that are providing guaranteed interviews and job opportunities.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority, 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.”

Councillor Ian Brookfield, Leader of Wolverhampton City Council, said: “A skilled workforce is a productive workforce, and it is only through giving them the relevant skills, training and support, that they can play their part in driving forward the West Midlands’ economy. The digital bootcamp initiative is a great example of investing in opportunities for our people.”

Digital bootcamp providers

The ten providers selected to deliver WMCA digital bootcamps include Generation You Employed; University of Birmingham; School of Code; Tech Talent; Capita; The Skills Network; LEAD; Resume Foundation; Twin Training International; and Code Your Future.

Their bootcamps will cover data analytics and data engineering, web development, coding, UI and UX design, cloud computing, digital marketing and cybersecurity, among other specialisms.

These digital bootcamps are a key part of the WMCA’s plans to implement its Digital Roadmap, which sets out five missions to digitise the region, including becoming the UK’s best digitally connected region and increasing access to digital opportunities by tackling digital exclusion.