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Three quarters of students find work after completing WMCA funded digital and retrofit bootcamps

Published: Monday 05 Dec 2022

Almost three quarters of candidates who complete a West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) funded digital or retrofit bootcamp have secured sector related jobs within six months.

The bootcamps, which are a key part of the region’s plans to upskill the workforce and develop our growing digital and housing sectors, are available for free to those looking for a new career.

And bootcamps are supporting business to increase the diversity of their skilled workforce. Of the more than 3,500 people who have signed up for the free training, up to 60% are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Solange Lake

Solagne Lake, a recent graduate of a WMCA funded digital bootcamp who now works a Software Engineer at KPMG.

Bootcamps are a key part of the delivery of the WMCA’s Digital Roadmap which set out steps towards becoming the UK’s best digitally connected region, further growing the sector and improving access to digital opportunities for all.

Over the last two years the WMCA has invested more than £25 million in over 100 different bootcamps, which included remote study courses during the Covid 19 pandemic, with a target of getting 73% of participants into jobs on completion.

The courses have been tailored to meet the needs of local employers and those who have completed bootcamps have been taken on by a wide range of businesses including KPMG, BT, Gymshark, HSBC, Natwest, the NHS, Jaguar Land Rover and those across local housing authorities.

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Bootcamps are playing a huge role in retraining and upskilling our workforce to meet the needs of our businesses, especially in the growing tech sector.

“This is a crucial way to help people into work and into better paid jobs as part of my 100k jobs plan. At a difficult economic time, getting people into quality work is more important than ever.”

One success story of that digital bootcamp is Solagne Lake, who joined to grow her knowledge in coding and is now working as a software engineer at KPMG.

She said: ". I joined the Black Codher Bootcamp funded by the WMCA because I always wanted to learn to code but the opportunity never presented itself with proper timing until I discovered this bootcamp.

“It has literally changed the trajectory of my life and I’m grateful beyond measure to the team and their partners."

Cllr George Duggins, WMCA portfolio lead for skills and productivity and leader of Coventry City Council said: “There’s a huge skills gap in the West Midlands and this digital training is crucial if we are to close that gap, meet the needs of our employers and grow our regional economy.

“And with courses on offer for free, these opportunities are open to people of all backgrounds who want to get on in work or try a new career.”

The full list of digital bootcamps and training providers and how to apply can be found on the WMCA website here:

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