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</New tech talent enters the workforce to address digital skills gap>

Published on 2 December 2021 by Web editor

News story

2nd December 2021: The Institute of Coding’s first intake of digital Skills Bootcamp students has now graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University, re-entering the workforce with additional digital skills tailored to the needs of today’s employers.

Manchester Metropolitan’s Skills Bootcamp class is the first of 40 cohorts that will be graduating over the next four months, having completed digital skills education delivered by some of the UK’s most respected universities. The IoC-led Skills Bootcamp courses have been developed in collaboration with industry and universities to ensure that the skills being taught align with employer needs.

Learning tailored to the employment market

The tech labour market in the UK has been one of the most prominent to rebound from the impact of the pandemic. The number of tech jobs available in the first half of 2021 outstripped that of pre-pandemic levels (H1 2019), with the number of advertised tech roles 42% higher in June 2021 than at the same time in 20191. In fact, tech roles made up the highest proportion (13%) of those available in the first half of 2021, that number further increased from the same period in 2020 (12.3%)2.

As part of the response to this demand, the IoC-led Skill Bootcamps are empowering and supporting a larger and more diverse group of people into digital careers. Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks that give people the opportunity to build up tech skills and were developed by the Government as part of the Plan for Jobs, in partnership with employers, providers, and local authorities.

The IoC is seeing early success, as the initial Skills Bootcamp intakes have included 44% women, significantly higher than the average 19% seen in traditional digital skills higher education3, while 37% of Skills Bootcamp learners are from a minority background. In addition, more than 60% have an existing undergraduate or graduate degree, illustrating the recognition by candidates to be proactive in upskilling for new digital roles.

A new candidate mindset

Recent research4 for the IoC conducted amongst full-time workers revealed the changing attitudes towards careers over the last two years. 70% of employed Britons are looking to switch careers, with 60% believing they would be more successful and/or perform better at work if they could upskill in digital or tech.

82% of working Brits believe their digital skills had become outdated in some way as the sector has advanced, whilst 88% have some confidence that they would have a better CV or be more successful at work if they had stronger digital or tech skills. As a result, 66% wanted to reskill with tech courses, like the IoC’s Skills Bootcamps in digital subjects.

Oluseun Adeogun, 40, a learner on Manchester Metropolitan’s recent Skills Bootcamp in Digital shared her experience: “I’ve been on a career break for the last few years, looking after my family. I signed up to the Manchester Metropolitan Bootcamp as I wanted to get relevant, up-to-date and cutting-edge skills that would help restart my career, stand out during the recruitment process and then ultimately get a job. What was great about the course was that it didn’t solely focus on the specific technological skill, but also included other elements of its application in the workplace, for example entrepreneurial soft skills, interpersonal skills and working in a team, which is ultimately what a role will involve.”

Santrice Rivers, 31, a fellow learner on Manchester Metropolitan’s recent Skills Bootcamp said: “Before the pandemic, I was a flight attendant but always wanted to work in cyber security; I’d love to be a Cyber Forensic Analyst. The Institute of Coding-led Skills Bootcamp from Manchester Metropolitan University has enabled me to retrain to do just that. As well as gaining a thorough understanding of coding and cyber security, I also learnt about business and the varied real-world uses for coding. I’m excited to embark on my new career in a role that will enable me to put all of this into practice and continue to learn and grown as the industry does.”

Yasmin Morshed, 28, another learner from Manchester Metropolitan’s Skills Bootcamp said: “I wanted to upskill and learn about coding as well as business and entrepreneurship. I was also really keen to learn about Unity and video game design. The Skills Bootcamp was invaluable in teaching me computing fundamentals such as coding and cyber security, as well as business. For example, as part of the Bootcamp, we created an app prototype that we pitched to potential investors. I feel that I now have robust knowledge and confidence to offer to employers and am excited to start a career in software development.”

Giving employers access to this new talent pool

Employers who would like to find out more about the new IoC-trained candidates, including the skill sets available and their graduation dates, should email Skillsbootcamps@deloitte.co.uk. A specialised team is standing by to help match employers with qualified candidates for their specific needs.

Skills taught over the IoC-led, tech-focussed Skills Bootcamps include core digital skills, data analytics, cloud computing, software development, DevsOps, data science, machine learning / AI, web development, cyber security, and others.

For more information on the Skills Bootcamps, please visit: https://instituteofcoding.org/ioc-skills-bootcamps/

Sheila Flavell CBE, Chief Operating Officer of FDM Group and Chair of the IoC’s Industry Advisory Board said: “We are delighted to see the first IoC Skills Bootcamp cohort prepare to enter the workforce – they are the first of 1,500 learners that will graduate in the coming months. The technical and workplace skills that these graduates have learnt as part of their Skills Bootcamp will make them desirable candidates for many of the digital and tech roles that employers are looking to fill. We are excited to see the contributions they will make moving forward and, what’s more, we would love to hear from employers about their requirements so we can continue creating new, accessible pathways to employment and a more robust talent pipeline for industry.”  

Quotes from our partners:

Prof Rob Aspin, Manchester Metropolitan Skills Bootcamp lead, said: “Our Skills Bootcamp in Digital focuses on the key skills we know are needed in the modern digital workplace, from technical aspects such as programming, databases and cyber security, through to the key employability skills we know employers are looking for, including digital marketing, business and entrepreneurship, and employability. As a local consortium delivering these bootcamps, spanning both academia and commercial training providers, we have put all our experience into this.

Natalie Jameson, Founder at The HeroWorx, Manchester Metropolitan’s Skills Bootcamp delivery partner and IT Technical Sales Trainer, said: “Our mission is to provide underrepresented talent with the resources and mindset they need to break into the tech industry. We’ve seen that this resonates with a large pool of dedicated diverse applicants who are ready to learn. This group has some great opportunities lined up already, and we can’t wait to watch them make an impact in the industry over the course of their careers.

References:

1, 2 Tech Nation Jobs & Skills report 2021

3 Stem Women, January 2021

4 The research of 1,512 Britons aged 18 and over who are currently employed was conducted by Perspectus Global on behalf of the Institute of Coding during September 2021.

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