Areas of work
SWEDA was founded in 1989 by local women who saw a need to address the barriers faced by women getting into training, employment or business.

Since then, the organisation has shifted its focus from solely women to all communities across Sandwell and the Black Country. Their charitable mission is to “encourage, inspire and promote the personal and professional development of its clients to achieve their goals regardless of age, intellect, talent or heritage”.

This is in pursuit of SWEDA’s vision of a society where “all deprived communities have access to equal opportunities for employment”.

SWEDA’s target clients are likely to be those who find it hardest to access decent work or get into self-employment, including young people not in education, employment or training (NEET), mothers and women returners, lone parents, carers, black and minority ethnic individuals, and people needing to retrain or upskill themselves.

The support SWEDA provides to individuals, including, but not limited to: training to boost confidence and motivation; job search support; interview preparation; and assistance with CVs and application forms aims to enable those at risk of economic exclusion to play an active role in the local labour market.

Working in a holistic way with NEET young people (aged 18-24) has been part of SWEDA’s offer to the local community since 2006. Dedicated, experienced and qualified advisers provide one-to-one support to individuals and make use of SWEDA’s network to signpost young people to further support and/or employment opportunities. Their current programme for NEET young people has a 90% retention rate.

Most of the employability and skills training offered by SWEDA is free at the point of use to service users, and funded through a number of sources and organisations including Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, the Department for Work and Pensions and European funds.

The organisation also provides enterprise and business support to local individuals and organisations, which plays a vital role in building a more resilient local economy. As part of this work, SWEDA seeks to build local enterprise networks to encourage cross-pollination of ideas and joint-working and collaboration between new businesses in the area.

SWEDA’s key objective is to support and encourage individuals to develop new skills, confidence and to fulfil their potential. Through their holistic service provision each year SWEDA supports over 1,400 individuals from diverse communities.

SWEDA prides itself in providing a unique warm and sensitive approach with on-going, long-term support. Their support is responsive to local needs and enables their clients to increase their self-esteem, confidence, personal and professional development.