An update on our bursary programme – providing access to the skills most needed, for those who need it most

by | Oct 6, 2020 | Bursaries, Connecting our communities, Social investment

Our bursary programme was designed to change people’s lives by allowing them to develop their skills.

We know that, for some, the cost of training can be a huge barrier to getting the skills to find jobs and progress in their careers. Recent research indicates that without the support of funding, those hardest to reach will find it even harder to progress in a labour market which favours those already in higher-paying work.

That’s why we set up the bursary programme in 2000 – to help people in genuine financial need access life changing training programmes. We know that employment nearly doubles as a result of our Bursary programme, and to this day it remains a core activity of the City & Guilds Foundation where we know we are making a big difference.

Earlier this year we made some changes to make sure that:

  • We are supporting skills development in the sectors where there are skills gaps
  • We are supporting those who need it the most, and for whom we can really help to find work and progress
  • The application process is inclusive and accessible for all and that we weren’t leaving applicants waiting too long for a decision; we know how reliant many people are on having this support to move forward with their lives
  • That we were giving all applicants the best possible guidance on the qualifications that fit with their interests and capabilities, and that would give them the greatest possible chance of getting a job

We’re delighted to say that during our pilot programme of our core bursary scheme we’ve been able to support 9 individuals who are doing courses in a range of sectors including health & social care, hospitality, and construction. We also had a fantastic geographical spread for the interviews including South East, East Midlands, South West, Yorkshire & The Humber and London. The split of applicants was 40% female and 60% male and the range of ages was from 20 to 65.

Of those that we’ve awarded, two of those individuals had been unemployed for more than 6 months so we’re hopeful that receiving this bursary and allowing them to develop their skills will open their career prospects. We’ll let you know!

Supporting in-demand skills and kickstarting careers

We’re really pleased to have also made a commitment to support 10 learners complete their Access to Apprenticeship course with Gen2 and 16 learners to complete their Track Maintenance qualification with Intertrain. Both programmes are in line with our bursary programme objective to provide access to the skills most needed, for those who need it most.

The Gen2 Access to Apprenticeship course has been designed to provide young people with practical engineering skills and experience. The course is delivered 2.5 days a week and is an opportunity for individuals to improve their maths and English GCSEs meaning they can then go on to do an apprenticeship.

The 16 individuals we’re supporting via Intertrain will embark on a two-month programme in Birmingham. The programme has been designed to help those in disadvantaged circumstances to develop essential skills for an industry which faces significant skills shortages. At the end of the programme the individuals will receive their City & Guilds Track Maintenance qualification and a guaranteed interview with a local employer.

Next steps

We’ll be following the journeys of all our bursary recipients and look forward to sharing their stories about the impact of the funding with you!

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