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What is SWAPs?

SWAPs is a training and support programme designed to help people into jobs and start a new career in Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and across health and social care.

Our FREE 3 week training programme provides the introductory skills and knowledge needed to take up any of the hundreds of roles waiting to be filled by caring and motivated people across Somerset.

All SWAPs candidates who complete their training are guaranteed an interview which could lead to jobs to suit every aspiration and circumstance with flexible and permanent opportunities.


The Course

Over 3 weeks, candidates will gain a Level 1 Health and Social Care qualification with Weston College, access online eLearning, take part in an employability workshop, attend face to face care training and have support from recruitment colleagues to complete pre-employment checks.


2 Weeks training delivered by Weston College

Leading to a Gateway Level 1 qualification in Health and Social Care

This 2 week course includes:

  • Health and safety awareness
  • Principles and values in health and social care
  • Person-centred support in health and social care
  • Service provision and roles within health and social care
  • Introduction to mental health
  • Working with others in health, social care and children’s and young people’s settings.


1 week training and support by Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and the SWAPs team

This week is dedicated to preparing candidates for working in the NHS.  One day face-to-face training  introduces working in the NHS and a virtual employability workship helps with CV writing and interview techniques. The rest of the week will provide on-line support for the completion of our NHS training modules selected for individual pathways.


On-going Support

All candidates are supported with both group and individual career consultations with the SWAPs team so that we learn their circumstances and aspirations and understand how we can best support candidates to achieve their goals.

Who is eligible?

SWAPs is available to anyone (18 years plus) who is on a low income (under £17,004 pa), unemployed, has been made redundant or is facing redundancy.

No formal qualifications are required!

Just a positive attitude, good written and verbal English skills and a laptop or PC with access to the internet.


With over 350 different jobs within the NHS there really is something to suit everyone.



Every candidate who completes the SWAPs course will be offered a Guaranteed Interview. Interview outcomes include, but are not limited to;

  • Healthcare Assistant, Bank contract
  • Cleaning Services, Bank contract
  • SWAPs Database
  • Further support from National Careers Service
  • Work Experience
  • Employability Support


We’ve won a Weston College Business Award! – Somerset NHS Foundation Trust (


Nicola Dobson

"The course made me realise that I do have skills and reinforced my belief in myself, that I have transferable skills and I can do more than I think"

Julie Lewis

"It was the best thing I have ever done – it has literally, changed my life."