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QA wins Government contract to deliver Skills Bootcamps

9-week programmes will equip 500 people who are unemployed, or need to retrain, with the digital skills required for well-paid tech careers

QA, the UK’s leading digital skills organisation, today announced that it has been awarded a contract to deliver Skills Bootcamps, part of the Government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs. Funded from the Department for Education’s £36 million National Skills Fund, the bootcamps will teach software development and data engineering skills, with potential further programmes to follow. This training will provide individuals aged 19 and over seeking work, or looking to retrain, with the skills needed to access sustainable, well-paid, tech careers.

Covid-19 has accelerated the pace of automation, displacing more people from low-paid jobs and leaving them at risk of long-term unemployment. At the same time, recent research from the Learning & Work Institute shows that one in four (23%) employers feel their current workforce lacks basic digital skills and one in three (37%) have identified a lack of advanced digital skills. QA’s bootcamps will take 500 people with little or no background in technology and equip them with the digital and soft skills required for entry level tech jobs in as little as 9 weeks.

Paul Geddes, CEO, QA said: “QA is delighted to be part of this great Government initiative to retrain 1000s of people across the country in high-demand tech skills. With tech workers enjoying an average starting salary of £30k*, these free Skills Bootcamps have the potential to change people’s lives, placing them firmly on the path to employment in well-paid roles in an industry desperately short of people with the right skills.

“Individuals with the attitude and aptitude to succeed in a tech career will be trained in entry-level tech skills. Learners will then complete tech projects based on real-world challenges, giving them the experience they need to stand out in the recruitment process. Having delivered a number of the pilot programmes last year, we know first-hand that bootcamps offer an efficient and accessible route to jobs for people from all walks of life while at the same time providing skills-strapped employers with work-ready, tech talent.”

QA’s digital bootcamps will run from Summer 2021 until the end of March 2022, training hundreds of learners through a total of 20 bootcamps. Programmes will consist of pre-learning via QA’s digital learning platform Cloud Academy, instructor-led virtual sessions covering both technical and soft skills, practical experience, assessments, and industry insight meetings with employers.

All participants will continue to receive support beyond the bootcamp to maximise success in finding jobs and provide further skills development in their new roles. A recruitment support manager will work with delegates to secure job interviews for local technical roles and successful finishers will also receive 12 months’ access to Cloud Academy, allowing individuals to continue to develop their skills while interviewing for roles and in the critical first few months of employment.

The contract award to run these bootcamps comes after QA’s successful pilot scheme in 2019 with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, rolled out under the Digital Fast Track Fund and funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Individuals interested in applying for a place on one of QA’s bootcamps can find more information here.

*Based on analysis conducted by QA of 50,000 open vacancies in ITJobsWatch.