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What is Inspiring Futures?

The University of Chester has an Access and Participation Plan in place which sets out our commitment to the Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator of higher education in England, to provide under-represented groups with equal opportunities to access, succeed and progress from higher education, by eliminating inequalities and therefore achieving successful and rewarding careers. 

Inspiring Futures is an exclusive programme of additional careers related activities and support, provided by Careers and Employability, which is available to current undergraduate, home-fee paying students from under-represented groups.  Inspiring Futures has been established to address the particular needs of these students, supporting them to achieve lifelong success.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible to apply for careers related activities and support through Inspiring Futures, you must meet one of the following criteria:

If you are unsure if meet the eligibility criteria above, the Inspiring Futures team will check this upon application to the programme.

What’s involved?

Inspiring Futures enables eligible students to get involved in:

Industry Insights

An opportunity to get involved in a programme of visits, physically or virtually, to local and national employers. By participating you will:

  • develop your knowledge and understanding of different industry sectors
  • gain a greater awareness of employers' recruitment and selection processes
  • increase your confidence and success when applying for graduate roles

Assessment Centre Simulation

An opportunity to take part in an assessment centre day, physically or virtually, and to gain a Level 3 AQA accreditation in Employability Skills.  By participating you will:

  • gain a greater awareness and understanding of assessment centre processes and activities
  • increase your confidence in your ability to perform effectively at assessment centres
  • develop your confidence and success when applying for internship opportunities or graduate roles

Participating in Industry Insights or an Assessment Centre Simulation will contribute towards The Chester Difference Award.

Workplace Experiences

A series of premium opportunities to help you become more employable. Ranging from Employer Projects to Graduate Internships, our opportunities will shape your CV and help you to stand out from the crowd.

Workplace Experiences are a great way to gain short-term experience. In many cases networking opportunities with the employer and their associated contacts, may lead to further opportunities for you.

How much will I be paid?

We currently offer two, key Workplace Experiences, which enable current students and graduates to apply their existing skills and knowledge in the workplace.

  • Inspiring Futures Project Placement Scholarships are available to current students from under-represented groups. Successful candidates will be awarded a scholarship of £2000 and will work a maximum of 216 hours.
  • Graduate Internships are available to recent graduates who will carry out their internship on a full-time basis over a period of 10 weeks.  Eligible graduates will earn £10.33 per hour and will work 365 hours in total.

More information about Workplace Experiences is available on our website.

The​ Futures Employability Fund

An opportunity for under-represented groups to apply for funding for activities or items that will help them to improve their employability, develop their skills and experience and gain access to opportunities that a lack of funding may be stopping them from taking.

  • Students can apply for funding up to a maximum of £500.
  • Students who submit a successful application which is less than £500 can make numerous applications to the fund up to the maximum total award value of £500.
  • Once a student reaches this limit they will not be permitted to apply again in the current academic year.

If eligible you will be notified via email each month that applications are being accepted.

The International Computer Driving Licence (ICDL)

An industry recognised qualification designed specifically for those who:

  • want to gain a basic qualification in computing
  • wish to demonstrate their competence in computer skills in their current position or to develop their skills in order to enhance their career prospects 
  • would like to undertake an IT qualification for general interest

For questions, more information or to express an interest in starting the ICDL qualification, please contact the IT Training Team by emailing

Completing the ICDL will contribute towards The Chester Difference Award.

As a precautionary measure LIS will suspend all current ICDL and Advanced ICDL training courses, including resits for the foreseeable future, due to COVID-19.

You can study ICDL online, but you would need to come over to CLRB 21 to take your test as we offer manual testing only.

We apologise for the inconvenience, and will be in touch when we have a revised timetable, which we hope will be in the not too distant future.

LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a leading online learning platform that helps anyone learn and develop skills and competencies across a wide range of areas (e.g. business & professional, digital and technical, creative & software) in order to achieve your personal and professional goals. Explore over 15,000 video tutorials from industry experts and leaders. LinkedIn Learning is available to all University of Chester students for free.  More information can be found here 


ASPIRE Fund is an opportunity for new full time Level 4 home undergraduate students (paying a tuition fee of over £6,000) and for continuing students at Level 4 whose programme has included a Foundation Year, who have a means tested household income of less that £25,000.  The fund is non-repayable, with a maximum award of £100 per person. To apply to the ASPIRE Fund click here.

Not sure if you are eligible? Email

    Additional Resources


    Support to Work is a free support programme for disabled people in England and Wales who are applying for jobs.  Please see further information here -

    If you’re a disabled student or graduate looking for support in finding a job, you can contact Scope by calling 0300 222 5742 or by emailing ​

    Careers and Employability work with MyPlus Students’ Club and EmployAbility two organisations who support students and graduates with disabilities with the transition from education to employment through work experience, job opportunities and advice.  This enables you to confidently navigate the recruitment process at a range of top employers and organisations.

    Contact Information

    Inspiring Futures - Careers and Employability