A new digital skills training centre has been launched in Manchester to train 1,000 people in areas such as web development and graphic design in a bid to boost employability and close the skills gap.
The Fearless Academy, which is set to launch its first boot camp in September, will provide the opportunity for people to train or retrain in various digital skills that are increasingly becoming essential to the UK and global economy.
Courses offered at the academy include search engine optimisation, graphic design, web development, pay-per-click marketing and other digital business skills.
The goal of the Fearless Academy is to train 1,000 people over the next three years. The centre said that in addition to providing skills training, it would further support employability with career days, networking events, and interview prep.
“As a business leader, I’ve seen first-hand how taking chances on young talent can transform a business,” said Dominic McGregor, co-founder of the Fearless Academy’s parent company Fearless Adventures.
“But now more than ever, sourcing the right people is becoming one of the biggest issues for businesses. There’s a real skills gap for digital marketing experts that is constantly widening. Our mission is to reverse this trend by upskilling the next generation of ambitious talent.”
Rise of digital skills bootcamps
The digital skills gap has become a priority concern for the UK tech industry. Data published by Tech Nation shows that tech job vacancies are at a 10-year high as companies struggle to find talent with the right skillsets.
Digital skills bootcamps are seen as a solution to this problem. Private organisations, often with public support, have been stepping in across the country to give people the skills needed in today’s job market.
Last week another Manchester-based digital skills training facility secured a £1.25m investment. The University Academy 92, a venture launched by former Manchester footballers such as Gary Neville, will equip young people in the North West with industry skills and provide startups and businesses with access to local talent.
The government has outlined some measures to tackle the shortage, as seen in the unveiling of the digital skills strategy in June. However, the strategy, revealed by former tech minister Chris Philp, has drawn some criticism for its lack of clarity and ambition.
In an interview with UKTN, Callum Adamson, CEO of freelance tech worker dispatch company Distributed, criticised the slow pace of the government’s tech visa scheme, designed to bring foreign tech talent to the UK.
The head of the Digital Poverty Alliance said the government ignoring digital poverty and presenting vague solutions for increasing STEM education was unsatisfactory.