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Tech boot camps promise double salary for Gen Z to combat skills gap

20 February 2024

Science and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan has announced free ‘no-skills-required’ boot camps designed to open up job opportunities offering more than double the average UK salary.

Skills offered by free government-backed boot camps can lead to average salaries exceeding £70,000, two and half times the UK average, new research published today has revealed. 

The findings from Beauhurst also reveal that roles in technology overall pay an average of 55 percent more the national average.

This comes as the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) launches a drive to get more people to sign up to digital skills bootcamps in cloud computing, cybersecurity, software development, and more.

The research, published by Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst, and funded by DSIT’s Digital Growth Grant, shows that demand for technology talent surged in 2022 after a slump through the pandemic.

While tech job adverts decreased through the last year, demand for junior and entry-level roles persisted as technology companies struggled to recruit the early career talent they needed to match their growth ambitions.

The campaign runs alongside wider government efforts to reward work and drive growth – such as cutting National Insurance Contributions for millions of workers across the UK, which saves the average worker £450 a year.

Scale-up companies who have already demonstrated high potential and are in their ‘venture stage’ dominated this demand, with the high-growth group recruiting almost one third (31.3 percent) of all digital jobs.

After establishing boosting scale-up growth and tackling the skills gap as two of DSIT’s three priorities for the year ahead, Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan today said: “The appetite and potential British scale-ups have for growth is immense, we can no longer allow digital skills shortages to limit their ambition.

“Whether your personal ambition is to secure a comfy pay packet, land a creative role, solve the world’s most pressing challenges, or all three – the Skills Bootcamps we are promoting today can help achieve your own career goals while being part of our superpower sector.”

Each boot camp will see people take part in courses that last up to 16 weeks and will prepare them for high-tech careers, with each guaranteed an interview on completion. 

No technical knowledge or educational qualifications are required to secure a place. 

Digital skills is one of several areas where £550 million of funding is aiming to upskill 64,000 people through boot camps by 2024-2025.

Launched by DSIT, the campaign is focused on boosting five priority skills to plug gaps in British tech talent – covering cloud computing, software development, data and analytics, cybersecurity, and web development.

The courses are available part-time and full-time across the country, with many providers offering flexibilities to make sure that everyone can take advantage.

Adie Nunn completed a web development boot camp with School of Code, which was funded by the Government, and now works at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence.

Before finding the boot camp, Adie hopped between jobs through what she describes as a “spotty” career. This included working as an event promoter for a pub company and later as the front of house for pop-up events.

“I was interested in computers and tech from a young age. But, without a computer science degree – and having failed my highers in maths and computing at school – I never thought a career in tech would be possible.

“After jumping between roles and being made redundant in the pandemic, I gave the School of Code Bootcamp a go and have never looked back. The technical and soft skills I developed on the course were crucial in securing my current role as a software engineer at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence where I get to work on fascinating, challenging projects.”

The Skills Bootcamp Adie completed was funded by the Department for Education (DfE) as part of the same scheme that is receiving a new marketing push from today. The School of Code is still offering boot camps as part of this.

The campaign has been supported by the Digital Skills Council, a group of major technology companies including Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as skills-focused organisations like Future Dot Now and more.

Katie O’Donovan, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy at Google and Digital Skills Council Member, added: “We’re committed to helping people learn the skills they need to make the most of the country’s digital economy. That’s why since 2015 we’ve visited over 500 locations across the UK and helped more than one million people learn new valuable digital skills. 

“Courses like the Google Cloud engineer boot camps open up a world of opportunities for young people, helping them to kickstart successful careers in tech and increase their earning potential.

“We’re proud to be part of this important initiative, and we look forward to continuing this work with the government to equip more people with the skills needed to drive growth across the UK’s technology sector.”

Phil Smith, Co-Chair of the Digital Skills Council and Chairman of IQE, said: “The Digital Skills Council welcomes this research which reinforces just how important the work and goals of the Council are in bringing together [the] Government and industry to improve the confidence, capability and leadership of the UK in digital skills. 

“Digital skills are vital throughout the economy and existing successful programs such as boot camps play an important role in providing relevant and focused up-skilling and a proven path into high-value, enjoyable jobs.”


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