Sector-based work academies

Sector-based work academies – a way to create a skilled workforce for your business

What are sector-based work academies?
The Government has introduced a new range of measures to help get Britain working. Sector-based work academies are one of those measures available in England* to help those who are ready for work and receiving benefits to secure employment. They are designed to help meet your immediate and future recruitment needs as well as to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow your business.
A sector-based work academy can last up to six weeks and has three key components:

  • Pre-employment training- relevant to the needs of your business and sector
  • A work experience placement – of great benefit to both the individual and a business
  • A guaranteed job interview

The key feature of sector-based work academies is that they offer a flexible approach and can be adapted to meet the needs of your business.
If you are unable to offer all three components, we may be able to work with you to overcome this – such as enabling you to join together with other employers as a consortium approach.
Participants will remain on benefit throughout the period of the sector-based work academy and Jobcentre Plus will pay any travel and childcare costs whilst they are on the work experience placement. There is no direct cost to an employer for sector-based work academies as the costs are covered by government funding.
Pre-employment training
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 like you to design the content of sector specific training to meet the needs of your business and those of the local labour market. The training is fully funded through the Skills Funding Agency* and delivered by Further Education colleges and training providers. The training will enable participants to undertake units on the Qualifications and Credit Framework. It will also be possible for your business to deliver the training without public funding.

Work experience placement
A work experience placement in your business will enable participants to develop their skills and have the opportunity to work in a real environment. The length of a work experience placement is determined at the initial discussion between you and Jobcentre Plus and it provides invaluable benefits for both businesses and individuals participating in a sector-based work academy.
The key principle to supporting participants during the placement should be to treat them as regular employees as far as possible whilst they remain on benefits, but recognising that they may initially need additional coaching and supervision. Preparing for the work experience placement will ensure that you and the participant will get the most from this experience
In order for businesses and individuals to both benefit from the work placement element we would ask that you:

Explain what you need them to do

  • Inform them of management and reporting arrangements
  • Facilitate positive working relationships
  • Provide an overview of your business and its values and culture
  • Give a tour of the workplace
  • Provide guidance on using any equipment
  • Provide guidance on health and safety
  • Explain standard workplace practices such as, security procedures, dress code, sick leave/absences, lunch and break times.

Guaranteed job interview
A guaranteed job interview for one of your vacancies will provide participants with valuable
interview experience.
You may also want to consider whether an apprenticeship opportunity would be of benefit to your business at this time. As the participant will be part qualified you may wish to consider employing them on an Apprenticeship to finish their training. You can find out more about apprenticeships at or you can discuss this with Jobcentre Plus who will be able to provide you with more information.

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