Highfield   |   UK Funding For Qualifications   |   Sector Based Work Academies

Sector Based Work Academies

What are sector-based work academies

Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) are designed to help jobseekers, who are claiming either Universal Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), to build their confidence, improve their job prospects and enhance their CVs in order to find employment in different sectors of work. 

Run by Jobcentre Plus in partnership with training providers and employers, they are tailored to meet recruitment needs, including pre-employment training, a work experience placement, and a guarantee of a job interview for participants. A programme is expected to take up to 6 weeks to complete. If you are interested in offering a sector-based work academy, or would like further information about the services available to support your recruitment needs, please visit here.

Pre-employment training

This involves a short module of vocational training covering sector-specific content that has typically been agreed by employers, Jobcentre Plus and colleges/training providers. This training is either provided through further education colleges or independent training providers.  In England, this training is fully funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and available for eligible jobseekers. In Scotland, funding is provided by either Skills Development Scotland (SDS) or other partner agencies.

Work experience placement

This allows jobseekers to develop their skills in a real environment and allows employers (at no cost, as the jobseeker will continue to receive their benefits) to identify talent for suitable vacancies, or even a need for an additional new resource in the business.

Guaranteed job interview

At the end of the programme jobseekers will with receive the opportunity of a job interview (providing valuable experience) or be offered help with the application process (if a job interview is not possible).

How Highfield can help support SWAPs

Using our extensive range of funded qualifications and associated training resources you can build a successful and engaging SWAP. Below are examples of our qualifications and resources that can support the delivery of these programmes:


Our suite of employability skills qualifications and resources have been developed to provide individuals with the knowledge and understanding they need to broaden their opportunities in employment in a range of different occupational sectors. The content and structure of each qualification is designed to be flexible so learners can achieve a variety of employment-based skills and experience a number of work-related subjects. 

Full information on our employability qualifications is available here. You can also access details of our supporting employability resources here.

Customer Service

Our customer service qualifications help to provide individuals with the guidance and confidence to deliver clients with a lasting and positive impression of your organisation. We cover all subject areas, from Level 1 essential basics to Level 3 customer Service diplomas.

Full information on our customer service qualifications is available here. You can also access details of our supporting employability resources here.

Other Subject Areas

We offer qualifications across a wide area of sectors that can support SWAPs including hospitality and catering, health and social care, construction, manufacturing, retail, warehousing and distribution, logistics and business services. For more information on funded qualifications visit our Highfield Funded Qualifications Directory and government funding rules.