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What is The Futures Employability Fund?

The Futures Employability Fund is a part of the wider Inspiring Futures programme and is an opportunity for under-represented students to receive funding towards their future career. Available through the Careers and Employability service, it may be used to purchase items or experiences that can help improve your employability, allow you to develop new skills, and gain access to new opportunities. You may be awarded up to £500 in funding per academic year and can apply multiple times as long as you don’t receive more than £500 in one year.

What is Inspiring Futures?

Inspiring Futures is an exclusive programme delivered by the University’s Careers and Employability team consisting of additional career-related activities and support. This 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 and support them to achieve lifelong success.

To be eligible to apply for Inspiring Futures opportunities, and the Futures Employability Fund, you must fit one of the following criteria:

What can the fund be used for?

The fund can be used towards a range of things, including but not limited to:

  • Digital marketing courses, language courses, sports coaching, and first aid qualifications
  • Attending events, conferences, and interviews
  • Specialist equipment or software subscriptions
  • Interview clothes (up to a maximum of £120), or appropriate clothes for a particular work placement
  • Accommodation expenses for placements away from home such as travel expenses

Not sure if the fund is right for you or anxious about applying?

Lucy Coker and Oliver White are two students who have directly benefited from receiving funding.

Lucy received funding to buy herself appropriate clothing for her work placement and said:

“I have benefitted from the funding as I have been able to wear warm, comfortable clothing to teach in schools which has boosted my confidence and allowed me to distinguish between my professional clothing, and the other clothing I wear. This ensured that I was suitably dressed for different lessons such as PE, Maths, and English.”

The clothing you wear can be important in any career you pursue, be it dressing smartly to teach students, or making sure you have the correct safety gear while at work. Lucy agrees that looking professional is key to getting the most out of your career and, thanks to the Futures Employability Fund, she and others have been able to ensure they are dressed appropriately without unnecessary worry.

Oliver White received funding after he applied for specialist recording equipment. The filming essentials, such as a camera and tripod, helped him both in and outside of university, he explained:

“I have benefitted from the funding as it has allowed me to expand my capabilities with my screendance project at university, and I endeavour to continue using the equipment for professional purposes now that I have graduated.”

Oliver would advise anyone thinking about applying to do so. The fund can assist if you need help finding equipment for both your course and resulting career. He recommends choosing something that will continue to help you in the future, even after graduating - which is exactly what the Inspiring Futures programme aims to do!

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