From education to employment

Skills Bootcamps could unlock £6bn in five years to the UK economy and boost social mobility, says employment charity

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  • Since 2019, Generation has been working with government to place over 1,200 people into life-changing careers. 
  • As the country struggles with rising inequality and wealth disparity, the new report shows that skills bootcamps can make a real impact in people’s lives.
  • Through Skills Bootcamps alone, the charity estimates over £6bn would be returned to the UK economy in over five years, making the case for ongoing investment in these initiatives. 

The UK’s leading employment charity Generation UK, today releases its first Social Impact report, which demonstrates how Skills Bootcamps can improve the job prospects and the lives of three million UK people who are out of work.

In the UK, opportunities for upward social mobility for people born in low socioeconomic households are at their lowest in over 50 years, according to research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies. When comparing to all other G7, except for US and Italy, the UK is clearly lagging behind at enabling social mobility. Generation UK’s Social Impact report uses four years of data tracking long-term impact to highlight the huge potential of Skills Bootcamps in driving increased socioeconomic mobility, encouraging government and businesses to continue investing in these scalable initiatives.

Since it launched in 2019, Generation UK has been on a mission to support the three million people who are either unemployed or would like to start life-changing careers through a unique model of bootcamp training – focussing on supporting people into in-demand careers, particularly digital roles.

To date, the charity has supported over 2,300 jobseekers – the majority being from low-income and minority groups – across the country. Generation UK programmes have been proven to double the chances for people to find a job within six months after graduating.

The charity has also placed over 1,200 people into life-changing permanent work, with the average salary starting at £25,000/year and the highest placement starting at £33,000. This is significantly higher than the annual salary equivalent of the living wage, which is £21,000/year for non-London and £23,3000/year for London. Ultimately, Skills Bootcamps can provide a pathway for people into life-changing careers and avoid the risk of in-work poverty which has become prevalent in lower skilled roles.

Further to this, over 60% of Generation’s alumni have enough money to begin saving after two years of working. This is real socioeconomic mobility, with people’s lives being transformed.

Unlocking opportunities for people, businesses and the economy

Beyond driving meaningful change in people’s lives, the opportunity for businesses and the country’s economy is clear. As businesses struggle to hire for skill-specific roles, such as cloud engineers or care workers, Skills Bootcamps can be a cost-effective way to plug in the skills gap while also reigniting the economy. 

While the UK government has made significant steps in boosting skills initiatives, only 10-20% of the current funding has been used to move people out of unemployment with the rest invested in upskilling for people who are already employed.

For each learner trained, Generation estimates an average return to the government (coming from both reduced benefits payments and increased income tax) of £6,000 over 5 years. If the government focused all the Skills Bootcamp funding on the one million unemployed people in the UK, this would unlock more than £6bn for the UK economy over five years.

You can read the full report here.

Michael Houlihan, CEO, Generation UK, comments: 

Since 2019, we have been on a mission to support people facing barriers to employment into life-changing careers through our comprehensive model of skills bootcamp training with wrap-around support. The results of these four years can be seen in our first Social Impact report, which demonstrates the massive impact Skills Bootcamps can have in driving upward socioeconomic mobility across the UK, and a clear case for ongoing investment from the government. 

“We look forward to continuing our work with government and business over the next few years, so together we can triple our scale, widen our geographic reach and improve the quality of delivery – all while making a positive impact in people’s lives.”

Byron O’Connor, Amazon Web Services Generation Graduate and a consultant at OpenCredo, comments:

“Without a degree or A Levels, I was unsure of what skills or experience I needed to secure a tech role in the city. However, after graduating Generation’s program, I had the skills required to transfer into the tech sector. I am now fortunate enough to have stable employment and increased job prospects after graduating.  This has allowed me to focus on my mental and physical health which adds to my happiness, and I’ve also been able to move out into my own home.”

Leila Seith Hassan, Head of Data Science and Analytics at Digitas, comments:

We’ve had our first cohort of graduates in our business for almost a year. They’re all still in the business delivering more and more value. They exceeded our expectation in terms of skill and readiness from day one. And their eagerness and energy has permeated through the business. 

We had such success that we recently expanded into another bootcamp and are preparing to take in our third Generation Graduates cohort.”

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