Examples of how the sector-based work academy programme (SWAP) can support you to create a skilled workforce for your business.

As part of the government’s ‘Plan for Jobs’, there are a range of government programmes available for employers, including the sector-based work academy programme (SWAP).

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.

Find out more about the sector-based work academy programme.

Fareham College

Fareham College has teamed up with Job Centre Plus (JCP) to establish a bespoke sector-based work academy to offer people the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge required for pursuing a career in the construction industries.

The college’s Civil Engineering Training Centre (CETC) works with JCP to offer individuals seeking employment opportunities relevant skills and experience to enter the construction industry. Potential applicants, including those made redundant and receiving unemployment benefit or out of work for some time, enrol on a four-week training programme at CETC to give them real-world experience in civil engineering.

Every learner is guaranteed a job interview at the end of the programme, they obtain their CSCS Green Card as well as a Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment and a Level 1 Award in Bricklaying. If required they can gain a functional skills qualification in Maths and English, enabling them to graduate the programme site-ready. Each cohort of learners can then progress straight into work or onto an apprenticeship.

Jordan Pakiry, a learner on the programme, said:

I was made redundant at the end of July. I came to CETC with no experience in bricklaying or the construction industry, but I have had a very positive experience and have learnt the basics in building straight block walls, corner returns and bonding bricks together.

These skills combined with my Level 1 Award in Health and Safety in a Construction Environment plus functional skills in Maths have put me in a great position to look for a job at the end of the programme.

Fellow learner Andrew Stubbs also commented:

I was unemployed for six months, having had a long and successful career in transport services. I want to pursue a work placement with Highways England and return to CETC next year to complete a Level 2 Highway Maintenance Apprenticeship.

The tutors at CETC are amazing. They have up-to-date industry experience and knowledge and the right connections. I have already recommended the programme to family and friends who are looking to change or start a career in civil engineering and groundworks.

Lesley Roberts of Fareham College said:

The programme has already enjoyed success with learners from the first two cohorts progressing into employment and Apprenticeships. We are planning a third cohort to start in January 2021. We hope to see many of our learners go on to have successful careers in the construction industry.

The college now has a full cohort of 20 learners who are looking forward to starting on programme in January 2021.

Published 25 November 2020