Free skills boost for Hampshire and Surrey

Free, fast-track training is now being offered to Hampshire and Surrey residents and employers, enabling both those in work and job seekers to gain further training and secure higher paid roles, with employers benefitting from upskilled employees

Nov 22 2023

Hands on a computer keyboard while learning on a Skills Bootcamp training course

Hampshire County Council, in partnership with Surrey County Council and the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership (EM3 LEP), have secured £1.8 million Government funding for employment skills training for adults aged 19 and over to run a programme of ‘Skills Bootcamp’ courses, each lasting up to 16 weeks. 

Skills Bootcamp training will boost both Hampshire and Surrey’s economy and increase productivity by helping businesses fill specific vacancies which require skills that currently are in short supply.

Councillor Rob Humby, Leader of Hampshire County Council said: “Hampshire is home to many well-established leading businesses and industries including those in emerging industries like advanced manufacturing, renewable energy, digital and tech as well as and health and life sciences. We are extremely pleased to have secured this funding to commission training providers who can deliver Skills Bootcamps in the county. The training will be developed in partnership with local employers, ensuring a joined-up approach to addressing skills gaps and job vacancies across Hampshire. 

“This is a fantastic opportunity to support the development of a workforce equipped with the skills to meet the needs of industry and business – both now and in the future. It will give working adults confidence in their ability to advance their careers and create a more secure future for themselves and their families, which is vital to enhancing economic and social prosperity for all.”

The courses are flexible with learning planned to fit around family and other commitments allowing people in different circumstances to gain the skills employers are looking for. 

Surrey County Council's Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Economic Growth, Councillor Matt Furniss said: "Surrey's economy is one of the most vibrant and diverse in the country, with our digital, green and construction sectors among the most innovative in the UK. In order to keep growing and evolving, it's vital the county's talented workforce is equipped with the skills that businesses are looking for. This is why we're excited at the potential of Skills Bootcamps. For residents, Skills Bootcamps provide the opportunity to learn valuable new skills which could help them change careers or progress in their current roles. For employers, it's an opportunity to invest in their colleagues, diversify their workforce and recruit candidates for vacant roles.

"With no costs involved to residents, Skills Bootcamps are truly a win-win for businesses and for employees."

For most Skills Bootcamp courses, no previous knowledge in the subject is needed. Courses can be classroom-based, on-the-job or online and participants are guaranteed a job interview at the end of their course. 

Hundreds of courses are currently available in various fields of expertise including:

  • digital, such as data engineering, software development or digital marketing
  • technical, like construction or engineering
  • green industry, including electric vehicle and heat pump technology.

More information and guidance is available for residents and businesses (in both counties) online at, including on how to find a course and how to apply.

For those who need help deciding on suitable courses, an online National Careers Service Skills Assessment is available to establish an individual’s existing skills and match them to potential careers. 

The current funding will cover training opportunities until the end of March 2024.