North East Connected

Skills Bootcamp participants secure jobs after completing free digital training

People across the UK are being helped into new and exciting job opportunities thanks to Skills Bootcamps delivered by Teesside University.

Teesside University has worked with industry partners to deliver three 16-week Skills Bootcamps designed to improve employability and support levelling up.

The Department for Education-funded Skills Bootcamps, which were open to people of all employment backgrounds, were ran by the School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies to improve digital literacy knowledge and help people enter the tech sector.

Bootcamps on offer included UI/UX Design for Games, Data Analytics and Visualisation: from Advanced Excel to PowerBI, and Machine Learning and AI for Business Applications.

Taught online by Teesside University academics as well as industry experts, the highly competitive courses enabled participants to build their digital knowhow.

The bootcamps were made up of lectures, practical workshops and projects, with an embedded employability programme which benefited learners with the opportunity to interview for a job or internship and create a strong portfolio of work.

Tymoteusz Jozjasz Sulek and Teodora Milenova Encheva successfully completed the Skills Bootcamp training in UI/X Design for Games, in which they developed the user interface and user experience for an esports game.

They have since gained employment at Double Eleven, a leading games studio which delivered the UI/UX Design for Games training through practical classes in partnership with Teesside University.

Tymoteusz Jozjasz Sulek, who previously worked as a 3D artist in a cable management company, was looking for a change of pace in his career when he signed up for the Skills Bootcamp.

He said: “I was interested in changing my profession and learning something new. I saw this bootcamp as my best chance at career progression.

“Having the opportunity to receive feedback from both the academic staff and industry representatives on my portfolio was invaluable and the employability sessions were useful and informative.

“It’s still early days in my new role, but people are very welcoming, supportive and, most importantly, everyone shares the enthusiasm for games and art, which is the environment I desperately needed to find myself in.

“I can already tell I made the right choice going for the bootcamp. It was the best thing that happened to me since my original degree course.”

Teodora Milenova Encheva, who is originally from Bulgaria and in the process of moving to Middlesbrough from Manchester, added: “I enjoy playing games and have always dreamed of contributing to the production of one – that made signing up a no-brainer for me.

“I am grateful for all of the hard work Teesside University and Double Eleven put in to preparing and delivering the bootcamps, and for the help and support they provided during and outside of sessions.

“Thanks to that, I have learned a lot of valuable fundamental skills, built a portfolio, and I am on the path to make my dream a reality – and it all happened in just a few months. I can’t wait to see how my career will develop at Double Eleven.”

Steven Pick, Lead UI Artist at Double Eleven, said: “It was extremely exciting to collaborate with Teesside University on the UI/UX Skills Bootcamp. It provides a unique opportunity to present our viewpoints as seasoned game developers and give direct insight to students to help prepare them for their careers in game development as UI artists or UX designers.

“We were so happy with the results of the course, we ended up employing two talented students and got them straight to work on exciting projects.”

Teesside University joined the Institute of Coding (IoC) in March 2021 and worked to deliver the training courses as part of a programme led by the IoC to launch a series of Skills Bootcamps around the UK.

The IoC, a national consortium led by the University of Bath, is made up of industry, educators and outreach providers working to address the country’s digital skills gap through education.

The Skills Bootcamps were developed by the Government together with employers and providers as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, helping everyone gain skills for life.

Available fully funded to those who meet the eligibility criteria with the option of employer funding for those already in work, the courses are helping to upskill the population and boost participants’ career prospects.

Siobhan Fenton, Associate Dean (Enterprise and Knowledge Exchange) in the School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies, said: “Teesside University is committed to driving forward progress and we are delighted to have collaborated with industry partners to deliver these essential digital Skills Bootcamps.

“We set out to improve employability and widen participation through these professional and accessible courses, and we are proud to see that we have achieved these goals in supporting participants into their dream careers.”

After two successful intakes of participants since the Skills Bootcamps were first held in 2021, Teesside University plans to extend delivery of the Skills Bootcamp again.

Skills Bootcamps at Teesside University

School of Computing, Engineering & Digital Technologies

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