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Gloucestershire Business News

Over 4,000 jobseekers supported to SWAP jobs in the South West

More than 4,000 jobseekers in the South West have been supported to upskill, retrain and gain quality work experience through the government's Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP), according to the latest figures.

Across England and Scotland, the total number of jobseekers supported by the Department for Work and Pensions scheme since April has exceeded the government's target of supporting 40,000 as part of the Plan for Jobs. Work coaches are still referring people to the scheme every day.

The support sees jobseekers enrol on a six-week training programme in their chosen sector, during which time they have the chance to learn new skills, gain hands-on work experience and build their contacts in a new line of work. There is also a guaranteed job interview at the end of the course for an actual vacancy.

Employers from a range of sectors have already provided placements and offered vacancies through the scheme including Thames Water and iDirect.

Therese Coffey, secretary of state for work and pensions, said: "SWAPs are a brilliant way for jobseekers in South West to quickly find a route into a new sector. And with everyone guaranteed an interview, this is a programme that offers real hope and gets results.

"Opening up opportunity to all is a key focus, as we level up across the country and build back better, and SWAPs match potential with possibilities, delivering mutual benefits for employee and employer."

Mims Davies MP, minister for employment, said: "SWAPs are a great way to encourage people in the South West to use their skills to pivot into new or expanding sectors and we stand ready to help them, every step of the way.

"Our focus is to create employment through our Plan for Jobs, as well as supporting people to adapt to the changing labour market. Ee've got a variety of schemes in place to help every jobseeker progress as we push to build back better."

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