A SKILLS training programme led by Devon County Council (DCC) has received its largest funding award from the Department for Education to further boost employment opportunities across the county.

Train4Tomorrow is being delivered in partnership with Cornwall Council and is receiving £6.4million in 2024/2025, a significant increase on previous years which will enable more than 2,000 adults in Devon and Cornwall to access Skills Bootcamps in a variety of dynamic sectors.

Skills Bootcamps are available in a wide range of growing and well-paid sectors where there are a higher numbers of vacancies.

New for this year will be Skills Bootcamps in childcare, heavy goods vehicle driving, and creative sectors, such as film production, photography, and media.

These new Skills Bootcamps join the current opportunities running in health and social care, green skills, digital, construction, professional services, and technical areas, including welding and retrofit.

The Train4Tomorrow programme has successfully delivered a range of Skills Bootcamps over the past four years, supporting around 3,000 learners across the region to upskill and gain new employment.

Skills Bootcamps are free, flexible courses lasting up to 16 weeks, giving adults (aged 19+) the opportunity to achieve in-demand skills.

The programme focusses on filling skills gaps within the local economy by working with local employers to ensure training aligns to their specific skills need.

The programme is free for people who are unemployed or returning to work, self-employed, or employed, and looking to change careers.

Skills Bootcamps are also open to self-employed individuals looking to develop skills to transform and grow their business, as well as enabling unemployed individuals to gain skills which will help them get back into the workplace.

John Taylor, who owns Meadow Barn Farm in the South Hams, recently took part in the Regenerative Agriculture Skills Bootcamp at the Apricot Centre CIC in Totnes.

Not only does the course teach participants sustainable farming practices, it also focusses on business support.

John said: 'It has given me some more business understanding, and I think our business will be more profitable as a result.'

Now with a clearer understanding of regenerative agriculture in regard to animals and food, John is confident of his new skills, and said, 'I can look any customer in the eye and say this is what we do and why we do it, in an authentic fashion.'

In the past year, over 100 employers worked with Train4Tomorrow to provide learners with interview support, site visits and real-world work assignments along with many more who have recruited newly skilled learners.

Councillor Rufus Gilbert, Cabinet Member for Economic Recovery and Skills, said: 'This latest funding award reflects the success Train4Tomorrow is having in providing vital skills training in sectors which are growing and in demand.

'More than 2,000 adults will be able to benefit over the next year, which is great news, and it’s encouraging to see new sectors also being added to the programme. Whether you’re looking to find work, change career or further your opportunities in your current role there’s a wide range of Skills Bootcamps on offer.'

► If you are an employer or training provider in Devon or Cornwall and are interested in delivering Skills Bootcamps, the Invitation To Tender is open from Friday, January 19, until Monday, February 26, via the Supplying the Southwest Portal. Skills Bootcamps can be tailored to individual employers’ needs, creating bespoke courses for their employees.

► If this is something your business could benefit from, you can contact the team at [email protected] for an informal discussion.

► To find out more visit Devon County Council's Train4Tomorrow website.