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Partnership working for jobs and skills

Authors: The Work Foundation Stephanie Bennion, Skills Strategy, Department for Work and Pensions

11 September 2012


In these times of economic uncertainty, the job market is challenging and jobseekers often do not have the skills sought by employers in demand sectors. DWP’s sector-based work academy programme brings employers, colleges and other training providers and Jobcentres together in a package of support to help benefit claimants get the skills and experience to compete for these vacancies and to give employers an efficient recruitment service.

Partnership working is key to the success of sector-based work academies. The scheme has proved to be most effective when providers, Jobcentres and employers work together to tailor skills support to the job vacancies on offer and the needs of jobseekers. Sector-based work academies are designed to help meet employer’s immediate and future recruitment needs as well as to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow their business.

The government is committed to ensuring that people looking for employment have the essential skills to succeed in the workplace. Jobcentre Plus, colleges and other training providers want to work with employers to design the content of sector specific training to meet the needs of businesses and those of the local labour market. In England, this training is fully funded via the Skills Funding Agency and delivered by Further Education colleges and training providers. This training enables participants to undertake units on the Qualifications and Credit Framework. It is also possible for businesses to deliver their own training.

The sector-based work academy scheme is run in England and Scotland and is open to people receiving either Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance in the work-relativity activity group. Participants receive sector-specific pre-employment training, a work-experience placement and a guaranteed job interview in a package lasting up to six weeks. The key feature of sector-based work academies is that they offer a flexible approach and can be adapted to meet the needs of the business. If employers are unable to offer all three elements, the sponsoring Jobcentre can help businesses to overcome this, such as by bringing together a number of employers in a consortium.

Find out more about sector-based work academies on DirectGov.

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