Skills Bootcamps and Adult Skills

An overview of the current provision and availability of information

Garner O, Dave A, Williams J, Newton B |   | Institute for Employment Studies  | Mar 2024

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Skills Bootcamps were introduced in England in 2020 to support the Government’s ambition to deliver sector-specific skills to support employers. These courses aim to help individuals upskill or reskill so that they can transition from working in declining sectors and occupations that offer limited progression to growth areas where there are skills shortages and progression opportunities. The Skills Bootcamps are available to people who are unemployed or inactive, as well as those in employment. For people not currently in work, they aim to build the base level skills necessary for job entry that then enable acceleration once in work; for those already in employment, the courses can help employers and employees build the skills to be resilient to occupational change.

IES was commissioned by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation to undertake research to build a better understanding of what the Skills Bootcamps deliver and how far this articulates with provision elsewhere in the English skills system. A sample of Skills Bootcamps to examine and extract from was selected from the DfE dataset of the 1800 Skills Bootcamps funded from March 2023. 

From the sample of Skills Bootcamps, information was extracted on their characteristics to help understand the extent of any trends, variation and gaps in delivery, skills development and groups targeted. It also aimed to understand where the Skills Bootcamps fit within the technical education system through identifying where they could be mapped to occupational standards. This also identified Skills Bootcamps that do not appear to be linked to existing occupational standards.