- March 25, 2021
- Posted by: Jenna Jack
- Category: News
PeoplePlus and Pendersons were virtually joined by the Minister for Employment Mims Davies on 24th March, so she could see and hear feedback from the participants on the Sector Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) running in Stoke-on-Trent.
A SWAP is a DWP initiative that combines training with a work placement and viable job interview at the end, as part of the Government’s Plan for Jobs. This SWAP is aimed at providing full training to any candidates who are looking to work on the railways including those who have not worked in that sector before. It offers an introduction to the environment and the necessary skills and accredited qualifications to be successful in gaining a position. The six week programme includes three weeks training with PeoplePlus covering Employability, manual handling, fire awareness and first aid, followed by a three week practical placement at Pendersons gaining training and essential qualifications to work in the railway sector. The placement concludes with a job interview from Pendersons.
Pendersons are a nationally recognised contractor who have a dedicated resourcing arm along with agreements with other rail employers. Their rail recruitment division has been successful in growing to become one of the largest suppliers of contingent labour in the UK. They work with some of the biggest companies in the sector to source and recruit highly experienced, knowledgeable rail personnel.
The Employment Minister virtually joined the SWAP, along with three MP’s for Stoke on Trent; Jo Gideon, Jonathan Gullis and Jack Brereton to understand more about what this SWAP entails and how it was benefitting the participants. She said:
“Our DWP SWAP scheme is letting people explore new career opportunities in the rail sector, getting them back on track to a better future. Our Plan for Jobs is full steam ahead as we boost the number of SWAP places to 80,000, and with targeted schemes helping people of all ages back into work we’re levelling up opportunity across the country as we push to build back better.”
Participants on the video call heard from a SWAP attendee who had joined the programme because he had always worked in financial services and wanted a career change in to the railway industry, alongwith a former fork-lift truck driver who had been made redundant from his role due to Covid-19.
Employer Relationship Manager for PeoplePlus, Hayley Degg commented:
’It was great to share the success of the current SWAP with Pendersons. This opportunity provides candidates with the skills, qualifications and work experience to help them understand what the job at the end of the programme entails. It really is great to see and speak to the candidates on the course to understand how life changing these opportunities could be for them. We support these individuals throughout the process and with the guaranteed interview at the end of the placement, it gives them a focus that this could lead to a real life changing opportunity for them”
PeoplePlus and Pendersons will be running more SWAPs together to enable even more people to begin fulfilling and secure employment with one of the UK’s growing industries.