Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Sector Based Work Academy Programme - Sandwell College
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What is a SWAP?

The sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) can support you to create a skilled workforce for your business. Sector-based work academies help prepare those receiving unemployment benefits to apply for jobs in a different area of work. Placements are designed to help meet your immediate and future recruitment needs as well as to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow your business. SWAP is administered by Jobcentre Plus and available in England and Scotland.


A sector-based work academy can last up to 6 weeks. Placements have 3 main components:

  1. pre-employment training – matched to the needs of your business sector
  2. work experience placement – a great opportunity for your business to identify talent and for the individual to cement their knowledge and understanding of the required role
  3. a guaranteed job interview or help with an employer’s recruitment process


Features of a SWAP:

An important feature of SWAP is that each sector-based work academy offers a flexible approach and can be adapted to meet the needs of your business. Placements are particularly useful for young people but are open to all job seekers aged 18 and upwards.

Students remain on benefits while on a SWAP placement. The government will pay any travel and childcare costs whilst benefit claimants are on the scheme.

There is no direct cost to an employer for running a sector-based work academy as training and administration costs are covered by government funding.

How your business could benefit:

Your business could benefit from offering SWAP placements for the following reasons:

  • this is a flexible programme that can be tailored to meet your recruitment needs
  • you can recruit staff with the right training and skills from the outset, developed through fully-funded pre-employment training
  • an opportunity to provide work experience placements for potential employees to ensure they are suited to that type of role and your company
  • work experience placements allow developmental opportunities for existing employees, for example by working on their mentoring, supervisory and coaching skills
  • reduces the risks within the overall process of recruiting new employees
  • an opportunity for positive publicity to show how like-minded businesses are working together to meet their social responsibilities
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Nurse caring for someone in hospital bed

Could you offer a SWAP?

Please fill in your details below or call us on 0121 667 5018.

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