Digital fitness: DMA launches Marketing Strategy Skills Bootcamps

The DfE-funded programmes aim to help unemployed or SME staff develop data and digital skill sets.

The Data & Marketing Association (DMA) has announced the launch of its Digital Marketing Strategy Skills Bootcamps in various locations across the UK.

The bootcamps – funded by the Department for Education (DfE) through its Skills for Life programme – have been set up to help aspiring and current marketing professionals to upskill and re-skill in core areas, and increase the talent pool available to businesses.

Launching in London, Bristol and Manchester next month, the aim of the bootcamps is to help diverse talent in major UK cities – particularly those who are unemployed or working in SME organisations – to develop data, digital and creative skill sets to boost their career and employment prospects.

Access to marketing qualifications and job interviews

The bootcamps will run for 12 weeks with those on the courses getting 12 days of tutor-led learning, including three days of in-person training, and 115 hours of independent study. SME employers of bootcamp recruits will pay just 10% of the £2,123 course costs, with the rest funded by the government.

For larger organisations, they will get 70% of the total cost paid for, and will contribute 30% (£637 per employee). Those who complete the bootcamps will receive an Institute of Data & Marketing digital marketing qualification. Unemployed people who complete the bootcamps will get access to job interviews with potential employers.

Chris Combemale, the DMA’s CEO, said: “The DMA’s new skills bootcamps will help organisations and the people who power them to benefit from government-funded upskilling and reskilling opportunities during these extremely challenging economic times. They will help businesses to acquire skilled, diverse talent, saving on both training and recruitment costs, while empowering them to boost growth and productivity.

“In addition, they will offer support to people from all backgrounds across the UK, not only helping them to develop highly desirable marketing and digital skills, but to also provide them with crucial links to responsible employers.”

Plugging the talent and skills gaps

The bootcamps are part of the DMA’s wider campaign to reduce the talent shortage and skills gaps in the industry, and create more professionalisation, with a culture of continuous, structured learning. As part of the campaign, professionals are being encouraged to “micro upskill” with DMA members signing up to a pilot scheme to give their employees the opportunity to use the association’s bitesize learning for a minimum of an hour a week.

The DMA was one of a number of voices late last year calling on the Government to increase funding dedicated to industry-led qualifications to help fill job openings. This led to the DfE selecting the DMA as a partner to help close the skills gaps.

Combemale commented: “The DMA believes that learning and professional development are integral to tackling skills shortages and improving people’s employment and career prospects. “There remains a huge opportunity for industry bodies like the DMA to have a significant role in supporting the government’s upskilling and reskilling initiatives – so we hope that this is only the start of this exciting journey. We believe trade and professional bodies are best placed to spearhead these types of programmes with their strong industry connections and understanding of the skills that employers require most.”