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Greater Manchester Combined Authority awards £650k to digital training contracts


Hundreds of people in Greater Manchester will be trained in digital marketing skills thanks to the launch of two new training programmes.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has awarded contracts to The Fearless Academy and The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) as part of the Skills Bootcamps programme, funded through the Department of Education’s National Skills Fund. Fearless Adventures has been granted £499,928 to run Skills Bootcamps, while DMA has been awarded £154,427.

Both organisations will deliver free best-in-class digital marketing training, designed with employers to help city-region residents to gain vital new digital skills and offer accessible routes into employment with local businesses. Those who complete the training will be guaranteed interviews for real job roles helping businesses to close the digital skills gap.

The Fearless Academy’s Skills Bootcamp will focus on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-Per-Click (PPC), social media, graphic design, and web development along with an entire suite of fundamental digital skills. The curriculum will be brought forward by digital marketing specialists from parent Fearless Adventures. Alongside this, the academy’s dedicated talent team will support learners on completion of the 12-week Skills Bootcamp, leveraging their extensive founder network and providing accessible routes into employment.

The DMA’s Skills Bootcamps will focus on digital marketing strategy and help learners from all backgrounds to develop creative, data, digital, strategic marketing skills and increase the opportunities available to them. Many organisations, especially SMEs, will benefit from an expanded pool of skilled talent with enhanced digital marketing skillsets.

Councillor Eamonn O’Brien, Greater Manchester’s lead for education, work, skills, apprenticeships and digital said: “Accessible, affordable training is a crucial weapon in the fight against the cost-of-living crisis as we strive for a better post-covid future. This programme will help city-region residents to access those opportunities and take control of their futures.”

Dominic McGregor, The Fearless Academy co-founder, added: “As a business leader, I’ve seen first-hand how taking chances on young talent can transform a business. Now more than ever, sourcing the right people is becoming one of the biggest issues for businesses. There’s a real skills gap for digital marketing experts that is constantly widening. Our mission is to reverse this trend by upskilling the next generation of ambitious talent.”

Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks for those aged 19 and over which give people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and a guaranteed interview with a local employer on completion. The programme is part of the government’s Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs initiatives, designed to help people onto the career ladder, transition back into work or access progression opportunities, while also helping employers meet skills needs.

Skills Bootcamps also support individuals across priority groups including low paid workers, ethnic minorites, those with disabilities and ex-offenders. The Fearless Academy and DMA will offer their courses flexibly online, with up to 16 weeks to complete allowing people to fit training in and around their lives. All courses are free. Find out more on the GMCA, Fearless Academy and GMCA Employers websites and socials.


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