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Record £6.4 million awarded for further year of skills training across Cornwall and Devon

A successful skills training programme has received its largest funding award from the Department for Education to further boost employment opportunities across Cornwall and Devon.

Train4Tomorrow, led by Devon County Council and delivered in partnership with Cornwall Council, is receiving £6.4million in 2024/2025, a significant increase on previous years, which will enable more than 2,000 adults in Cornwall and Devon to access Skills Bootcamps in a variety of dynamic sectors. 

Skills Bootcamps are available in a wide range of growing and well-paid sectors where there are a higher numbers of vacancies.

New for this year will be Skills Bootcamps in childcare, heavy goods vehicle driving, and creative sectors such as film production, photography, and media. 

These new Skills Bootcamps join the current opportunities running in health and social care, green skills, digital, construction, professional services, and technical areas, including welding and retrofit. 

The Train4Tomorrow programme has successfully delivered a range of Skills Bootcamps over the past four years, supporting around 3,000 learners across the region to upskill and gain new employment.  

Skills Bootcamps are free, flexible courses lasting up to 16 weeks, giving adults (aged 19+) the opportunity to achieve in-demand skills. 

The programme focusses on filling skills gaps within the local economy by working with local employers to ensure training aligns to their specific skills need.

The programme is free for people who are unemployed or returning to work, self-employed, or employed, and looking to change careers.  

Skills Bootcamps are also open to self-employed individuals looking to develop skills to transform and grow their business, as well as enabling unemployed individuals to gain skills which will help them get back into the workplace. 

Jamie Hanlon, from St Austell, is self-employed as an Access Consultant and completed the ‘Website Designer’ Bootcamp online. He said:

“I wish I had known about the course sooner; after just nine weeks I have built a website from scratch, and I am looking forward to supporting new clients.” 

Having built confidence in this new skill, Jamie has been able to cut costs for his consultancy and is enjoying being able to make changes as and when they arrive.

Jamie did not let his hearing loss and dyslexia hold him back and his advice to anyone thinking of joining a Skills Bootcamp is to “Believe in yourself. Don’t let age or disability hold you back.” 

In the past year, over 100 employers worked with Train4Tomorrow to provide learners with interview support, site visits and real-world work assignments along with many more who have recruited newly skilled learners. 

Councillor Barbara Ellenbroek, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Children and Families, said:

“Bootcamps offer a new flexible approach to upskilling and retraining which is key to giving families with caring responsibilities the opportunity to change their career or get back into work.

There is such a wide range of courses available through Bootcamps and our FE provision and the shorter nature of these courses is perfect for people who have typically struggled with traditional training routes, there is something for everyone.” 

Councillor Louis Gardner, Cornwall Council portfolio holder for Economy, said:

“This latest funding award means the Skills Bootcamps can offer even more opportunities for residents to access high quality skills training which will in turn support our growth industries in Cornwall.

This funding gives us the opportunity to ensure people are developing industry skills that meet current recruitment needs now and in the future.” 

If you are an employer or training provider in Devon or Cornwall and are interested in delivering Skills Bootcamps, the Invitation To Tender is open from until Monday 26 February 2024 via the Supplying the Southwest Portal.

Skills Bootcamps can be tailored to individual employers’ needs, creating bespoke courses for their employees.

If this is something your business could benefit from, you can contact the team at train4tomorrow@devon.gov.uk for an informal discussion. 

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