At BOM, a core part of what we do is working with adults and children. One of our focuses is to help people develop digital skills through Immersive Arts Bootcamp and workshops. 

Immersive Arts Bootcamp

An example of our educational offering is our Immersive Arts Bootcamp! The 12-week intensive course is open to all adults. Places are free, with priority given to those who are unemployed, underemployed, from a government priority place within the West Midlands, ethnic minority backgrounds or neurodivergent. 

Since we’ve started the Bootcamps, we’ve had an amazing response with 129 applicants and referrals to the course. Furthermore, inclusive learning is important to BOM and our last cohort included 55% neurodivergent participants and 95% from priority places. 

The inclusive learning programme upskills creative practitioners by developing existing digital skills and enabling them to become developers of immersive content. The aim is to enhance their career pathways in creative digital industries. Over 12-weeks, our team of digital skills experts deliver structured workshops at BOM. Not just confined to these allocated Bootcamp sessions, we provide additional drop-in sessions which allow the cohort to access equipment and continue their learning in their own time.

What’s more, we also have a team of industry experts with professional links in arts, gaming and immersive industries. Following the completion of the course and over six months, these experts offer support for participants and help to secure work opportunities. 

This leads us to January where we have welcomed a brand new set of Immersive Arts Bootcampers! Over the next three months, the new cohort for Immersive Arts Bootcamp: Visual Production will learn and develop 3D skills in Blender and Unreal Engine 5. We’re really excited to see participants apply their learnings and create own VR, AR and other extended reality projects.

Industry Showcase Event

At the end of each Bootcamp, it’s time to showcase everyone’s projects! Our participants gather and we hold an Industry Showcase Event. This is always a fantastic opportunity to network with industry professionals and potential employers. This takes us back to December where our most recent cohort were able to share their final immersive projects.

The Showcase began with an introduction from West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street and Immerse UK Lead and BOM Board member, Asha Easton. They discussed the importance of arts funding in the region which is really vital for developing immersive digital skills. 

Following the introduction, it was time to hear from two of our brilliant Bootcampers! Sakab Bashir is an artist and graphic designer, and Siobhan Stevenson works in heritage specialising in oral history. 

Sakab and Siobhan shared the value of the bootcamp on their careers. The discussed the experience of taking part and the opportunities that are now available to them. Opportunities include the potential for new art commissions utilising Sakab’s new immersive skill while Siobhan will be applying her learnings to complement audio storytelling. It was awesome to hear the importance of community and how BOM was able to provide a welcoming, accessible and inclusive space. 

Both Bootcampers are a great example of the variety of goals for participants following the course. These goals include breaking into the Immersive industry to those aiming to apply their new skills to their current jobs which includes art galleries. 

Industry Networking

After the talks, it was time to showcase participant’s projects! We were thrilled to see our friends in the industry meet our talented Bootcampers. We’re hugely proud of our cohort and we were delighted to hear that participants were offered work opportunities in the gaming industry following this showcase. 

This is only the beginning for our Immersive Arts Bootcamp cohort as BOM offers follow-up support in the form of industry meet-ups and socials. Not only this, we offer space and the use of equipment to enable participants to continue to develop their skills for six months. 

Additional Bootcamp Funding

To sum up, we know that the Immersive Arts Bootcamp equips individuals with immersive digital skills. These skills will be vital for the region, ahead of the expansion of the BBC, Digbeth loc and the wider e-sports and games industry.

Therefore, we’re excited to share that we’ve been awarded with continued funding for a further two Bootcamps this year. We’re proud to continue supporting the region’s talent by empowering and educating the local community. 

Learn more about our learning programmes here: Immersive Arts Bootcamp Sign Up – BOM Birmingham Open Media.

The Immersive Arts Bootcamp receives funding from the Department of Education, WMCA, Arts Council and The National Lottery Community Fund.