Skills Bootcamps FAQ


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Skills Bootcamps FAQ

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Application & Eligibility

Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to maximum 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer.

Skills Bootcamps have been developed by the Government in partnership with employers, providers and local authorities, to help people develop the skills that are in demand in their local area and get a better job. They are a part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee and Plan for Jobs strategies.

There is a task to raise awareness and drive uptake of these exciting new courses at a national level, so the greatest number of people can benefit, and so the public, employers and stakeholders can see momentum building around this kind of innovative reskilling model

Skills Bootcamps last between 7 to 11 weeks. Each week individuals attend intensive learning sessions to develop the skills.  Our sessions run 2-3 times a week and each session is between 2.30 to 3 hours plus there are days where there are labs to practice the hands-on exercises.

Whatever your current employment status, you can apply for a Purple Beard Skills Bootcamp.

As long as you’re motivated to learn and are able to commit to the full length of the course and the post course employability tracking (for up to 6 months post course) then you can apply. Depending on your pathway, there may be an initial assessment to assess your suitability for the course.

You don’t need a technical background to join our Skills Bootcamps! However, you do need to be able to attend every week, demonstrate a good level of communication and problem-solving skills and to want to progress in your current, or into a new career. 

It is our aim to ensure learners are work-ready and prepared for a job in their chosen area of tech upon course completion, so reskilling or upskilling to get a new job, or advance in your current role should be your goal! In addition, we want our learners to have fun, be sociable and create a community with their peers and alumni. 

We expect 3 things from our students:

  • be (extremely) motivated,
  • be curious,
  • be social
  • If this sounds like you, then we’ll be more than happy to have you on board if you pass all the selection process.

Please complete a Skills ‘Bootcamp Initial Interest Form’ on our website. You will receive an information pack email, with an application form that you can send straight back to us or, book a call with us to learn more. 

When you’re accepted onto the Skills Bootcamp you will receive an onboarding email two weeks before your Skills Bootcamp start date. This is the start of your learning journey and you’ll have access to the induction videos, your student handbook, schedule, alumni group chats and pre-learning information.

East of England (Norwich, Peterborough, Cambridge, Bedford, Ipswich, Luton, Southend-on-Sea, Harlow, Watford, Thurrock, Essex, Bedfordshire, Suffolk) AND East Midlands (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire)

  •  70% funding available if living or working in the area –  the remaining 30% which is £699 + VAT must be contributed by the employer  
  • 100% funded if unemployed, furloughed, self-employed, or employed and not supported by the employer 


  • You can still sign up for the Bootcamp and self-fund it.
  • The prices for the Skills Bootcamps vary between £2299 and £2999 +VAT if self-funded

In order to get the funding, you must be:

  • 19+ years old 
  • You must either live and work in the East of England or live in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire region 
  • Right to work in the UK
  • Able to commit to the Skills Bootcamp

Yes, all of our pathways have an element of pre-learning, to give you the skills and basic knowledge you’ll need to progress in the course. We’ll let you know more about this during the enrolment process

All you will need to attend is a laptop or desktop computer. It is preferable for this to have a working camera and mic, for you to get the most out of the virtual sessions. In the first session of the Skills Bootcamp we always have an ‘InstallFest’ to ensure you’ve got any software you may need.

Previous learners have also found that having two screens is really beneficial, so you can complete tasks while following along with the teacher. This could be a second computer screen or TV attached with an HDMI cable, or using a tablet as your second screen.

On Programme

If you’ve decided a different pathway suits you better, we can accommodate changes within the first 2 weeks of a course.

Purple Beard Skills Bootcamps are led by industry experts who will not only teach you the relevant skills and knowledge in your chosen pathway, but will also provide support sessions. Each session will also have a highly skilled TA on hand to offer any extra support.

We are flexible in our approach to learning and will always try to support, no matter what! We also have a qualified mental health ambassador who is available if you ever need someone to chat to. If you have a learning difficulty, we can offer additional support.

90% attendance is required for the duration of the Skills Bootcamp.

In case of unavoidable absence, please inform your teacher if you’re unable to attend. 


Some courses do include an exam at the end, but we’ll let you know during the application process and these exams are not mandatory.


Individuals who decide to drop out of the bootcamp or decide not to complete the course will have to pay penalties. 

The penalties would be as follows;

  • If you withdraw after 2 weeks of the course commencement or enrolment date the charge is £150. 
  • If you withdraw after 6 weeks of the course commencement or enrolment date, the charge is £450.

We do understand sometimes things are beyond your control in the case of unforeseen circumstances, in which case the penalty can be negotiated on a case by case basis.

We will support all of the attendees to complete their programme therefore will be asking for your  feedback throughout the bootcamp on how we can better support you and your learning. 

Skills Bootcamps are Government-funded and as an organisation we have an agreement to ensure learners complete the course they sign up for.

Skills Bootcamp Completion

Yes, you will receive a certificate of completion from Purple Beard. If you opt to take an exam and pass, you will also receive a relevant certificate.

We support all of our learners for up to six months after they complete the Skills Bootcamp. This may include check up calls to ask about your current employment status and how the Skills Bootcamp has helped you.

As required by the Government, we may ask about your employment information or ask you to complete a case study for us. 


Purple Beard Skills Bootcamps are designed to make learners work-ready from the week of course completion- and Employability is a huge part of the service we offer.

When the Skills Bootcamp ends, you will benefit from our Employability Services where you’ll have the opportunity to work 1:1 with our Employability Coach, to help you build your portfolio and your Linkedin profile.

We can also help you prepare for technical interviews, connect you with recruiters and we’ll put you in touch with our amazing Alumni, who will share their experiences from life after the Skills Bootcamp. 

In addition to helping you find a new role, Purple Beard works closely with organisations that are looking to hire apprentices, and we always recommend our Bootcampers for these roles. Bootcamp learners can also progress into TA or Ambassador roles at Purple Beard.

We will be running courses throughout the year. Get in touch with us for more details or check the Bootcamps page on our website. 

Apprenticeships - Individuals

An apprenticeship is a work-based learning programme that combines learning with paid work and is suitable for anyone over the age of 16. 

Apprenticeships give you the opportunity to study towards specific standards . By the end of the programme you will have acquired the skills,  knowledge & behaviours  and have achieved the relevant certification, to perform a skilled role and build a successful career.

You can search for apprenticeships on the ‘Find an apprenticeship’ site or alternatively on Purple Beard’s vacancies page

Some of the key benefits of apprenticeships:

  • Earn a salary while you learn: you will earn at least minimum wage while you’re learning in your apprenticeship and you’re also entitled to holiday pay. 
  • Work with experienced staff: hands on training every day from experienced colleagues while you’re at work. 
  • Taught by industry experts: our teachers are experts in their fields and they’ll support you to learn as an individual, planning for your learning style and needs. They will also provide you with feedback and development opportunities. 
  • Learn job-specific skills: get a head start in your career by learning vital workplace skills. 
  • Start a new career:  ready for a change? An apprenticeship is the perfect way to jumpstart your new career.
  • No learning costs: that means no student finance or debt.
  • Dedicated skills coach: you skills coach will be in regular contact throughout your apprenticeship to ensure you’re staying on track and offer you any learning support you may need. They will also regularly liaise with your employer to ensure you’re given development opportunities in the workplace.
  • Mental health and wellbeing is key: At Purple Beard we provide regular remote yoga sessions to help clear your mind after a busy day and we also have a qualified mental health champion, available to speak with if you need support. 
  • Are you over 16?
  • Are you living or eligible to live and work in the country your apprenticeship is based?
  • And will you be out of full-time education when the apprenticeship starts?
  • From 1 August 2021 the residency rules have changed for apprenticeship funding in England, following the end of the Brexit transition period and end of freedom of movement for EU, EEA and / or Swiss nationals. We still require apprentices to have the right to live and work in the UK for the duration of their apprenticeship, but the specific residency criteria has been updated to reflect the amended Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007.


If you truly understand the role you’re applying for, and the employer who’s offering it, and you feel excited to apply – you’re halfway there. 

Double check all the application requirements and make sure you have something to show for each of them. Even if you don’t fully meet the criteria, a good cover letter and a proactive attitude can open doors.

Your application will get you to the interview – from then on, it’s a case of proving to the employer that you can bring value to the role and the company.

That could be anything from simply bringing a positive attitude, a unique perspective on the industry, or a set of skills you’ve developed in your own time.  

It’s a case of asking yourself what your strengths are, and aligning them with what the role requires you to do.

Apprentices have the same rights as other employees. You are entitled to a contract of employment, and a minimum of 20 days paid leave each year, plus bank holidays. You will work at least 30 hours per week with your employer, and undertake part-time study through a mixture of day/block remote learning. 

You will receive an Apprenticeship agreement – signed by the employer and you, the apprentice. It is equivalent to a contract of employment, giving details of what the employer and apprentice agree, including:

  • how long you’ll be employed 
  • the training you’ll receive
  • your working conditions (such as pay, working hours, holidays, and any support or benefits provided)
  • the apprenticeship framework or standard you will be working to, and the skill, trade or occupation for which you are being trained 

Commitment statement – signed by the employer, you as the apprentice, and training provider, includes:

  • the planned content and schedule for your training;
  • the qualifications you are working toward;
  • what is expected and offered by the employer, the training organisation, and you, as the apprentice;
  • how to resolve queries or complaints;
  • If you’re unsure what your terms and conditions mean, it’s a good idea to talk them through with a parent/carer, teacher, or careers adviser.

We currently offer a range of level 3 and 4 digital apprenticeships including  pathways such as software testing and Development, DevOps Engineering, Content Production and more. To see our full list of apprenticeship qualifications, please visit our ‘Become an Apprentice’ page. If you are an employer looking to hire an apprentice but you’re unsure which qualification best suits your organisation’s needs, we can work with you to help you make this decision.

This depends on the apprenticeship you’re undertaking. Apprenticeships last anywhere from 12 to 24 months and some degree level apprenticeships can be longer.

Training with Purple Beard is delivered remotely. This means we’ve had the flexibility to hire industry experts to teach from all over the UK to ensure our apprentices are taught by the best.

Yes we do! If you have some prior learning, workplace experience or self-taught skills, we’ll assess this before you enrol to see which apprenticeship is right for you.

As  an apprentice nears the end of their training, the employer (with the help of the training provider) decides when they are ready to be assessed – at this point it is known as entering the Gateway. An apprentice cannot complete their apprenticeship without passing an end-point assessment.

The EPA allows apprentices to show what they’ve learnt and how they are applying their skills and knowledge within the workplace. This can be assessed the following ways:

  • portfolio;
  • project;
  • employer reference;
  • interviews;
  • grading work. 

This depends on the employer’s business needs! However, we mostly work with organisation’s that are looking to take on their apprentice into a permanent role, after they’ve completed their apprenticeship.

Any more questions?

Get in touch with us: or talk with our chat bot on our homepage.

Apprenticeships - Employers

Some of the key benefits of hiring an apprentice are: 

  • Grow talent: 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organisation. You can expand and upskill your workforce;
  • Motivated workforce: 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity. Apprentices are motivated to learn new skills and knowledge;
  • Skilled and qualified: 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service;
  • Staff retention: 74% of employers said apprentices were more likely to stay with their organisation long term;

Flexible learning models: you can adapt their training according to the needs of your business.

Apprenticeships are a very cost effective way to train, develop and recruit the people you need for your business because they qualify for government funding.

  • Businesses who do not reach the threshold for paying the Apprenticeship levy (annual payroll greater than £3 million) receive funding for 95% of the apprenticeship training and assessment cost;
  • This funding is not affected by the age of the apprentice or if they are an existing employee;
  • A cash incentive payment of £1,000 is also paid to employers who employ an apprentice aged 16-18 (or 19–24 care leaver);
  • Furthermore, if a business has fewer than 50 employees and employs an apprentice aged 16–18 (or 19–24 care leaver), they receive funding for 100% of the apprenticeship training cost plus the £1,000 cash incentive.

We will work with you at every stage of the hiring process to ensure you find the right candidate. By meeting with you and getting to know what your organisation is looking for, reading the job description for the role and learning about the workplace culture, we can advertise, screen and aid in the selection process.

If you’re a smaller employer, who does not pay the apprenticeship levy, we will reserve funds for apprenticeship training and help you to claim any incentives. 

Larger employers, who pay the apprenticeship levy will simply need to nominate us as the training provider, and again we will help in the claim of any incentives.


Either a member of the office team or your apprentice’s skills coach will always be available to offer support while the apprentice is on programme.

The apprentice will receive a contract of employment and is subject to the same rights as any other employee. 

They will need a mentor, usually their line manager, who can support them while they’re learning their job role.

The organisation will also need to commit to facilitating the mandatory ‘Off-the-Job’ training aspect of the programme. This is 20% of the apprentice’s overall working hours (over the course of the apprenticeship) and must be included in the apprentices working hours (or time offered in lieu for training outside of work hours). This can include sessions with our teachers, 1:1 shadowing in the workplace, industry events, research tasks etc but we must ensure that the apprentice is learning new knowledge skills or behaviors in accordance with their apprenticeship standard. 


Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to an interview with a local employer. They’re funded by the Government and are developed as a part of the Plan for Jobs skills and employment programme.

Evening time,
virtual classroom

Co-funded for East of England and East Midlands areas – between 70% and 100% funding available

Evening time,
virtual classroom

Co-funded for East of England and East Midlands areas – between 70% and 100% funding available

Evening weekdays or Saturdays,
virtual classroom

Co-funded for East of England and East Midlands areas – between 70% and 100% funding available



We have upskilled 58 people with our previous Skills Bootcamps edition that was developed in partnership with D2N2 LEP and funded by the DfE as a part of a national pilot. The bootcamps were designed based on the reports of the region around the skills requirements as well as what employers needed as part of their digital transformation strategy. Our 12-week programmes consisted of Data Analysis Bootcamp, Software Development Bootcamp and Software Testing Bootcamp and took place completely online.


Speak to our team today

If you’d like to learn more about Purple Beard Training as an Apprenticeship Training Provider, Tech Bootcamps and Apprenticeships, a potential partnership, working with us or you have any other questions, please contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.