CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Would you buy steak from a vegetarian butcher?

I set up Swarm Apprenticeships five years ago because I recognised that too many bright youngsters fall through the education system. Now five years later we've just converted to CIC to reinforce our commitment to supporting youngsters who 'don't fit' into employment and training.

We now deliver apprenticeship training to commercial businesses across the UK, with every learner helped to see the difference they make to their employer's bottom line. Apprenticeship training is 90% Govt funded and there is no upper age limit as there once was. We also train owner managers, using Level 5 Leadership apprenticships. Profits are invested in our core mission; to help youngsters find their feet, with jobs and training.

In 2019 I want to see Swarm delivering more training to those running social enterprises. Business skills are important to those working in a CIC, but perhaps in more subtle ways, with a number of stakeholders to satisfy. Are we the only CIC apprenticeship training provider? Does this represent an opportunity? I'm sure folk here will let me know!

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Comment by Mark Trotter on January 18, 2019 at 13:05

Hi Robert

An interesting concept, the apprenticeship levy has become the biggest barrier to investment in training when the same courses can be completed using alternative funding by employers and learners. 

Using the Adult Learner Loan system many businesses have found it easier to have the learning funded in full and pay back the loan overtime once they are reaping the benefit. 

The social investment model training provider has existed for more than a century and there are providers who specialise in apprenticeships using a similar model. So what would make this unique? Applying profits to young people is a conventional response, as education is a charitable act most have registered as charities. Therefore, the model of learning is the critical element and ease of access for the employers and learners.

It will make a valuable contribution to the CIC Association - have you looked at creating accreditation pathways for CIC specific activities. 


Will watch your progress with real interest and shout if you think I can help.

Comment by John Mulkerrin on December 17, 2018 at 22:34


Great to hear your update and congrats on becoming a CIC!

It would be great to have a chat about this as there might be some convergence with a Charity im working with, let me know how you're fixed



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