Sector-based Work Academy Programme

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered at on 4 April 2022.

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Photo of Alison McGovern Alison McGovern Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many sector-based work academy programme starts there were up to the latest date for which information is available.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Sector-Based Work Academies were first launched in August 2011 in England and January 2012 in Scotland. Regular statistical releases on Sector-Based Work Academies, covering participation by those on legacy unemployment benefits, began in 2011 and ended in 2017. These statistics can be found here.

The scheme was relaunched as the Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) in July 2020 as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs. Data for the financial years 2020/21 and 2021/22 shows that as of 27th March 2022, there was a total of 149,980 starts to a SWAP. The breakdown of these starts by financial year is displayed in the following table:

Table 1: SWAP starts

Starts FY 2020/21

Starts FY 2021/22 – to 27th March

Total Starts

Total SWAP Starts




Note on above: Figures are rounded to the nearest 10; components may not sum due to rounding. These figures reflect the number of starts by claimants in receipt of Universal Credit (UC), Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Income Support (IS).

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