What is a SWAP? 

Sector-based work academies help prepare those receiving unemployment benefits, including Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to apply for jobs in a different area of work. They are designed to help you build confidence, improve your job prospects and boost your CV.

SWAPs can last up to 4 weeks. Placements have 3 main components:

  1. pre-employment training – take part in relevant training
  2. work experience placement – develop your skills and have the opportunity to work in a realistic environment
  3. a guaranteed job interview or help with an employer’s recruitment process at the end of the SWAP

SWAPs are designed to help people who are ready to start work, but who may need to learn the skills and behaviours that employers in particular industries look for in new employees.

Am I Eligible?

You must be receiving Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) to take part in a SWAP. 

For funding purposes, we define a learner as unemployed if one or more of the following apply, please tick which best apply to your current income status:

  • Are employed but, earns less than £30,000 annual gross salary (If this is your option please provide evidence of this e.g. a payslip, contract of employment or bank statement)
  • Are released on temporary licence, studying outside a prison environment, and not funded by the Ministry of Justice
  • Economically Inactive (Out of Work and not claiming JSA, ESA UC or any other benefits)
  • Receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Receive Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), including those receiving National Insurance credits only

Your benefits will continue whilst you are on a SWAP. If you have to travel to the employer’s place of work or to where the training is held, you may be able to get help to cover the cost of your journey by public transport and or appropriate childcare costs.

What can you gain 

At the end of the SWAP, not only will you have some work experience and training in a job area, you will either have a job interview or help with the application process. 

If you are interested in starting a SWAP, you will need to speak to your work coach, who will be able to discuss with you the opportunities available. 

For more information about working in partnership with the College to set up a SWAP for your company, please speak to:

Email: skillsshop@halesowen.ac.uk
Telephone: 0121 602 7777
and press ‘Option 6’

If you are an individual looking to upskill, visit our course pages, or contact the Student HUB via the College’s live chat facility on our website alternatively, you can phone 0121 602 7777.

To register your interest please fill out the form: https://forms.office.com/e/nCMSqhMe9j

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