Sector-based Work Academy Programme

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 30 March 2023.

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Photo of Seema Malhotra Seema Malhotra Shadow Minister (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many sector-based work academy programme placements have been undertaken in (a) Feltham and Heston, (b) Hounslow, (c) Greater London, (d) England, since the start of the scheme.

Photo of Guy Opperman Guy Opperman The Minister of State, Department 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 ‘SWAP’ in July 2020 as part of the government’s Plan for Jobs. Due to data limitations, we are unable to provide a geographical breakdown for SWAPs that took place before the start of the 2021/22 financial year.

Data for the financial years 2021/22 and 2022/23 shows that as of 12th March 2023, there was a total of 179,000 starts to a Sector-based Work Academy Programme (SWAP). The breakdown of these starts by the regions specified and by financial year is displayed in the following table:

Table 1: SWAP starts

Starts FY 2021/22

Starts FY 2022/23 – up to 12th March 2023

Total Starts

(a) Feltham and Heston




(b) Hounslow




(c) Greater London




(d) England




Notes on the data:

Attached are tables listing the number of SWAP starts to date by Country, Region, Local Authority and Parliamentary Constituency. The figures used are correct as of 12th March 2023 and these figures have been rounded according to departmental standards.

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).

It is important to note that the information provided shows the current home location of the person who has started a SWAP. For starts by those in receipt of JSA, ESA or IS, due to data limitations a location cannot be assigned to these starts and as such they are categorised as unknown within the figures. SWAPs are run in England and Scotland, where a person’s current home location is outside of this they have also been categorised as unknown.

Although care is taken when processing and recording SWAP starts, the data collected might be subject to the inaccuracies inherent in any clerical recording system, but is provided in the interests of transparency.

Attachment (xlsx, 47.7KB)

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