A group of three multi-ethnic workers at a construction site wearing hard hats, safety glasses and reflective clothing, smiling and conversing

Training boosting skills and economic growth

The Department for Work and Pensions has announced that more than 250,000 workplace training places have been delivered for benefits claimants over the course of the last three years, with this supporting the development of skills and boosting long-term economic growth.

In the last financial year, 81,190 training places were delivered by the DWP, with the target of 80,000 being hit two months ahead of schedule. That figure also brings the total number of places delivered to 266,330.

These come through the Sector-based Work Academy Programmes (SWAPs) that the government established as part of its long-term plan for growth. Established in 2021, SWAPs allows jobseekers to find employment opportunities that give them six weeks of on-the-job-training and experience before being guaranteed an interview.

Employment infographic

SWAPs are often supported by employers that want to fill active vacancies within their company, with some of the most popular sectors being those that have the highest number of vacancies. These include:

  • Construction - 36,810
  • Security - 25,900
  • Hospitality – 21,250
  • Logistics and freight – 19,930

Mel Stride MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, said:

“Hundreds of thousands are taking full advantage of SWAPs and it’s easy to see why – these programmes are a great way for people to learn new skills and gain on the job experience, giving them the very best opportunity to get back into work and succeed.

“Whether it’s over 50s returning to work or those just starting out, SWAPs are not only getting thousands onto the career ladder, they are helping businesses fill vacancies with staff who can hit the ground running.

“Building on this delivery milestone, our £2.5 billion Back to Work Plan will help over a million people to start and succeed in work.”

When it comes to age groups, the most starts delivered through SWAPs came amongst 20-24 year olds, with 40,700 of these being made, whilst those over 50 years of age made 38,040 new starts. London was the region that saw the most SWAPs starts at 45,630, with the South East and North West following close by with 28,250 and 28,130 respectively.


Image credit: iStock


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