Leicester College Blog

How a SWAP course helped Rupert land his dream job


Rupert Walker had a clear career goal in mind – working in administration for the NHS. After struggling to get his foot in the door, he enrolled in the LPT (Leicestershire Partnership Trust)/NHS Sector Based Work Academy Programme (SWAP) at Leicester College and instantly landed the exact job he had wanted.

Leicester College “is the only college to offer this course”

With a specific job role in mind, Rupert completed his A levels and set about applying for admin jobs within the NHS – but with no luck. He had recommendations for different level 1 NVQ courses, but didn’t have much interest.

Rupert said: “I specifically wanted to work for the NHS so I don’t think NVQs would have helped. My work coach recommended this SWAP course to me and it piqued my interest. Leicester College was the only college in the area that offered this type of course and while it did have things that I had done before in my education, the thing that caught my eye was how the College worked hand-in-hand with the NHS, which would give me a real chance to get the job that I was looking for.”

Rupert decided to enrol on the course, which was four-weeks long and would equip him with the right qualifications, offering support when completing applications for current LPT and wider NHS vacancies.

“After applying for the NHS for a while and getting nowhere, it was getting a bit daunting. But this course had direct access to where I wanted to get. There were a lot of basics of which I already had experience but at the same time, the course explained things that I wouldn’t have known and didn’t expect, such as navigating the NHS website for vacancies and decoding job descriptions.

“The job titles also seemed overwhelming at first but the course broke that down and taught us how to apply for the different types of roles. This boosted my confidence and helped me add in the relevant information, whilst demonstrating that I had the equivalent training or experience when making new applications.”

Finding a job

After completing the course, Rupert applied for a job as a services coordinator with LPT – and was successful.

“The job is going great. I work with a great team and I really feel like I’m making a difference, which is rewarding. I have a mentor too, which is really helpful as they can help me to progress upwards or sideways within the NHS, which is what I plan to do in the future. I definitely want to stay within the NHS and build my career.”

 “I was very lucky to do a SWAP”

 Rupert said that he doesn’t think that he would have been able to make progress with his career if it wasn’t for the SWAP.

“The biggest highlight of the course for me was getting the job I wanted and that I enjoy. I met my now line manager on this course and she suggested this specific role to me. It was quite a competitive role but with all the knowledge I had from the SWAP, plus the line manager’s recommendation, I felt much more confident in applying.”

Rupert hadn’t heard of a SWAP before his work coach recommended it and when looking it up online, found that only a few colleges offer it.

“It seems to be quite a rare course, so I feel very lucky to have been able to do it. I think it’s very progressive of Leicester College to offer a course like this and work hand-in-hand with the NHS. It just shows the variety of courses they have on offer and how passionate they are about helping people into their chosen careers.

“I would recommend doing a SWAP, especially to anyone thinking of changing their career path. I used to work in management roles in bars and restaurants before taking this course, and didn’t think it would be this easy to make the leap to the NHS, but the course really increased my confidence. I was able to speak to people in the NHS and get first-hand advice and support that lifted me up into a job I really enjoy and have wanted for a long time.”


Sign Up for Updates

Be the first to discover all the latest news, offers, courses and events at Leicester College...