DEAP's Civil Service Sector Based Work Academy Provides Valuable Job Training

During two weeks in the month of September, DEAP Limited hosted the Civil Service Sector Based Work Academy (SBWA). The aim of this online-presented program was to help those out of employment engage in pre-employment training for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) work coach positions, as well as work on their CV and interview skills, and learn to navigate the Civil Service job website. The week was highlighted with a ‘Day in the Life’ presentation from a DWP work coach, in order to give clients a chance to see what working in the civil service sector was all about.

Clients honed their skills through the writing of competency statements, according to the STAR format—Situation, Task, Action, Result—in order to efficiently answer behavioural interview questions, a skill which would transfer over to many sector-based interviews. In addition, clients were taught about Success Profile Behaviours—communicating and influencing, managing a quality service, and making effective decisions. Clients were also prepared for interview with situational judgement mock tests, as well as the different series of interviews they would undertake when applying for a DWP work coach position.

After the week of training, many of our clients left with not only new skills, but the optimism and excitement of moving forward into a potentially new career opportunity with renewed confidence.

DEAP followed up with clients about a month after they had completed the SBWA in order to see how the Academy had impacted them:

“Definitely very beneficial. I’ve done a behaviour-based recruitment before but nothing this in depth. It’s good to have a bit more preparation.”

“I wouldn’t have applied without the support and help I have received this week. I am so grateful.”

“Thank you for all the insights and support. I found the civil service site impossible to navigate before this week and the volume of information overwhelming. Couldn’t have done it with you.”

“Good, clear explanations – you made everything manageable and gave prompt, clear advice.”

“…thoroughly enjoyed the course, and you’ve given me back my “mojo”…”

All in all, even if clients were not successful in moving forward to obtain a DWP work coach position, they certainly found the SBWA very beneficial in developing interview and job application techniques, with some moving on to employment in other sectors.


Sector-based work academies are available in Scotland funded through the Scottish government or other partner organisations. 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 work with employers to design the content of sector-specific training that meets the needs of specific sectors and those of the labour market. In Scotland, sector-based work academy training may be fully funded through Skills Development Scotland or other partner organisations and delivered by further education colleges and training providers.

The sector-based work academy program is designed to help meet employers’ immediate and future recruitment needs as well as to recruit a workforce with the right skills to sustain and grow their business. A sector-based work academy can last up to six weeks and has three main components:

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