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  • Writer's pictureSteve O'Hare

BLOG: What are skills bootcamps? Five key questions answered

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

MD Steve O'Hare answers five key questions about Skills Bootcamps and how interested bidders can get involved...

What are Skills Bootcamps?

They are a Government initiative to get skilled staff to fill vacancies that need a specific skill set, in growth sectors

The Bootcamp is targeted at people that are either out of work or people that are in lower-paid jobs to upskill them and get them into better paid, longer term and more sustainable employment.

Bootcamps are in a range of different sectors, and the idea is that an employer has a range of vacancies to start with, then people are trained in the skills required to fulfil the jobs the employer needs.

Why have they been introduced?

They have been introduced by the current Government to respond to current skills shortages.

We are fortunate to have very low unemployment at the minute in the UK (the lowest since 1974), which is a minor miracle given the last two years of ‘lockdowns’, fuel crises and a war in mainland Europe.

However, Bootcamps have been introduced to address skills shortages as the mainstream training, schools and universities, have not yet been able to produce enough people with skills for certain jobs.

What is the dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) that has been introduced for the Skills Bootcamps?

Skills Bootcamps have been going for a couple of years now and the challenge for any procuring organisation is that it takes quite a lot of time to let contracts, therefore a DPS will be introduced in the next Skills Bootcamp round to help speed up the process.

Instead of doing one big procurement round every year, once specific opportunities are identified or money is available to support Bootcamps, the buying organisation, which in this case is the Department of Education (DoE), will be able to go to its DPS and invite certain organisations to bid for that work.

This means the DoE can do more, shorter, sharper and more frequent procurement which will respond to the needs of the economy and employers.

How will it work for bidders?

It’s quite straightforward. You will normally find with a DPS that the first part is all about you and your organisation. It’s about putting your best foot forward in terms of what you can do within that arena.

For bidders, it’s about telling the DoE all about the really good stuff that you do. That will allow you to get involved in opportunities that emerge further down the line.

Who can get involved?

They are open to everybody, there are no pre-restrictions, current providers of Bootcamps include independent training providers, FE/HE establishments, charities, or even employers in their own right who want to up-skill their own team/staff and solve recruitment challenges.

This is a great opportunity for anyone and everybody who is interested in up-skilling or getting people in Level 3/4 roles.

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