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Northumbria University launches new Skills Bootcamps to connect people into employment in construction

Press release -

Northumbria University launches new Skills Bootcamps to connect people into employment in construction

This forms part of an Institute of Coding-led programme of 20 Skills Bootcamps.

The Institute of Coding (IoC) is a collaborative national consortium of industry, educators and outreach providers that are working together to respond to the UK’s digital skills gap through the delivery of employer-led digital skills education. The IoC consortium, which is led by the University of Bath, was announced by Government today as a provider for the Department for Education’s (DfE) Skills Bootcamps.

Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up tech skills and fast-track to an interview with an employer. They are being developed by the Government as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs, in partnership with employers, providers and local authorities. The Skills Bootcamps will provide learners with best-in-class digital skills education and deliver resilient pathways to work, with learners receiving the opportunity to interview with an employer upon the successful completion of their Skills Bootcamp.

As part of this provision, Northumbria University has been awarded £800,000 to deliver a series of two, 16-week long Skills Bootcamps, entitled Skills Bootcamp in Construction Data Scientist and Skills Bootcamp in Software (Engineering/Architectural Technician Plus).

The Skills Bootcamp in Construction Data Scientist course is targeted at those working within the construction industry, with a focus on digital construction. The Skills Bootcamps will teach data science technologies and techniques, covering the following subjects:

  • The role of coding in the construction industry
  • Understanding Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Big data analytics, Machine Learning
  • Internet of Things, Blockchain
  • Artificial Intelligence Algorithms, Neural Network Learning

The Skills Bootcamp in Software (Engineering/Architectural Technician Plus) course is aimed at Architects, Engineers, technicians, technologists, and anyone interested in advanced digital model authoring and manipulation. It will cover:

  • Understanding Building Information Modelling (BIM)
  • Industry-specific software training
  • Getting under the skin – opening up the SDK
  • Introducing Dynamo and Python
  • Workforce Skills Training – presentation skills, employability skills, etc.

Both courses will also focus on presentation skills, case study development and training, employability skills, and interview technique.

The Skills Bootcamps will take place online initially and will include a mixture of pre-recorded instructional material and timetabled live sessions.

If you would like to find out more about the Skills Bootcamps, please contact Dr Paul Vickers by emailing

Northumbria University is a leader in digital construction training and heads up the International Centre for Connected Construction (IC3), a centre of excellence for digital construction with global impact, fostering world leading research and innovation in collaboration with industry and public sectors. IC3 is driving transformation in the global construction industry through the application of digital technologies and smarter working practices. It will capitalise on expertise in digital construction and a $13 billion global market opportunity with a vision to create 426 jobs and add £133 million to the economy by 2026.

Using a collaborative approach, Northumbria University is working with the wider IC3 consortium to shape and deliver the best quality content. Together with the IoC, Northumbria will ensure that each step of the Skills Bootcamp journey is high-quality and tailored to meet the needs of employers and those looking to upskill to boost their employability.

Lucy Winskell OBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Employability and Partnerships) at Northumbria University and Chair of the Board of the NELEP said: “We are delighted to be supporting the delivery of the government’s Skills Bootcamps. Northumbria’s expertise in digital construction research, combined with our reputation for innovation and entrepreneurism, and our strong industry partnerships, means we are extremely well-placed to provide this vital training. Along with our regional partners, we are committed to ensuring the North East economy remains resilient in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, and we look forward to helping to plug the digital skills gap and supporting the expansion of the digital construction sector in our region.”

Professor Becky Strachan, Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering and Environment at Northumbria University, added: “We are delighted to be working with the University of Bath and the wider IoC consortium to offer these Skills Bootcamps tailored to support the construction industry to build its human capability around digital technologies. These bootcamps bring together our expertise at Northumbria in digital technologies and the built environment and build on our strong partnerships in the region and across the UK around digital construction. We are looking forward to seeing the tangible benefits that participants and employers will reap from this great skills initiative.”

Tim Bailey, Chair of Constructing Excellence in the North East said: “Congratulations to Northumbria University and their partners. This funding is warmly welcomed and has arrived at a key moment for the region's construction industry. Growth in digital construction skills is critical for delivering on the challenges of the near future. Constructing Excellence in the North East are delighted to support this important initiative as it advances the objectives of the region's Construction Strategy.”

The Northumbria University Skills Bootcamps will be delivered by specialist Building Information Modelling (BIM) publishing company and training provider White Frog. Director of White Frog, Paul Woddy said: “White Frog is delighted to be partnering with Northumbria University and the Institute of Coding to deliver Skills Bootcamps in digital construction. This Dept. for Education initiative combines the latest thinking from both academia and industry into an incredibly well-timed training proposition for the post-COVID economic rebound. It is a great offering from a great team and fits perfectly with the sector drive towards digital.”

Rachid Hourizi, Director of the IoC, said: “The Institute of Coding is pleased to be working with 13 respected UK universities to deliver 20 IoC-led Skills Bootcamps. This allows us to keep the focus on high-quality digital skills provision and builds on our existing 150+ courses, on which we’ve enrolled 900,000 learners to date. Our consortium has proven experience delivering best-in-class digital skills education that helps a diverse group of people into employment.”

Find out more about IC3 at

If you are a prospective learner or employer and are interested in learning more about the IoC-led Skills Bootcamps, please visit

If you would like to find out more about the Northumbria University Skills Bootcamps, please contact Dr Paul Vickers by emailing



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