Hundreds of free, or highly subsidised, training places offered through Skills Bootcamps are supporting employers and adults over the age of 19 in developing vital skills for their businesses and careers.

These bootcamps, funded by the Department for Education as part of the Government's Lifetime Skills Guarantee, host more than 300 places on flexible courses across a span of 16 weeks, striving to meet in-demand job requirements and bridging prospective skill gaps.

In Cumbria these bootcamps primarily concentrate on construction, digital, green economy, logistics, and project management, according to Naomi Morgan, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (CLEP) Programme Manager.

She said: “Skills Bootcamps are a fantastic opportunity for businesses to upskill their staff, including returning workers.

"Those taking part, including the self-employed, will benefit from either new job or career opportunities. Learning new skills helps address current needs as well as preparing for the future.

"The wider economy also benefits by creating a better skilled workforce and creating a culture of continuous learning and development in the business.”

Gareth Gore, owner of Lakes Plumbing and Heating, who completed an Air Source Heat Pump Upskill bootcamp, is encouraging more people to take part in the courses.

He said: “You have got to continue to move and grow your business, in my view. The way that markets are shifting in our industry means that we need to be keeping up with green technologies. The funding is there, grab it and go for it.”

Trainer John Ladell added: “It is giving many self-employed engineers access to qualifications that were previously unaffordable. It should help ensure that local industry is equipped to install air source heat pumps and help Cumbria meet Net Zero."

Nigel Wilkinson, Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises, expressed approval for the Leadership and Management for the Visitor Economy Skills Bootcamp.

He said: “This has really supported us to unlock talent in our future business leaders. Having access to cost effective, industry specific training. which is delivered locally has been a real benefit in developing our management team.”

BTP Cumbria is running Skills Bootcamps for the construction industry in Cumbria.

Keith Dymond from BTP claims that curses are 'great for filling short term skills gaps' and are 'fast and rewarding'.

In addition to on-site bootcamps, there are also online bootcamps like the one run by Scale-Ability.

Caitlin Bourne from Scale-Ability said: "We are running the CODE Cumbria Digital Skills Bootcamp to 22 Cumbrian residents. The aim is to teach them technical skills so they can help to fill the skills gap in the local tech industry."

The Skills Bootcamps programme in Cumbria has been developed by CLEP, working with local employers, providers and authorities.

Places are offered free of cost to individuals and self-employed people.

For employers, the cost is heavily subsidised- SMEs have 90 per cent of costs met and larger businesses 70 per cent, meaning an SME could benefit from a £4,500 training programme for just £450.

Interested individuals can seek additional information from the official CLEP website.