Rovers have become the first club in the country to offer a ‘Digital Bootcamp’ which aims to address the digital skills gap and unemployment figures across Lancashire.

The programme will look at social media marketing to help boost business opportunities that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The online course will help women from ethnic minority groups, and disadvantaged young people, aged between 19 and 30, launch a career in social media marketing and will run over a four-month period from December until March, with sessions held virtually on Wednesday evenings from 7-8.30pm.

The course, which is fully subsidised and starts next month, has been set-up with the backing of Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership and will be a 12-week in-depth course learning about social media platform Instagram.

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The club’s chief executive Steve Waggott says Rovers are pleased to be able to help deliver such programmes.

He said: “The club is delighted to be part of this new and exciting pilot programme, which will hopefully give future opportunities to different sections of our society.

“It is great for us to be called upon to play an active role in the delivery and development of digital skills, which are desperately needed in the current climate across a wide range of businesses and especially in football.”

The course doesn’t require any degree level qualifications or previous digital marketing experience and will see talks delivered by guest speakers from across the local business community.

Those who graduate from the course will be fast-tracked into an extensive interview process with local employers.

Digital Marketing Trainer, Mohammed Seedat, said: “Digital skills are fundamental to the success of our future economy, so the aim of the Instagram marketing course, delivered by Blackburn Rovers, is to up-skill and educate disadvantaged young people and women from ethnic minority groups in the Blackburn with Darwen area in order to grow a more inclusive and diverse digital workforce across the region."

The programme is delivered as part of the Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund – a joint programme from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership and Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and funded by the Department for Education Digital Bootcamp Fund to address the digital skills gaps across Greater Manchester and Lancashire.