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Employability Learning Fund


The Employability Learning Fund (ELF) provides financial support to students from Widening Participation (WP) student groups to enhance their access to employment opportunities.  

Finding employment can be a stressful time without having to think about the cost these opportunities may bring. Interviews, assessment centres and work experience can all cause financial strain, but the Student Inclusion Team may be able to help. Students who are eligible to apply may be able to receive up to £500 to support employment opportunities. 

Please note that ELF financial support will not be awarded for opportunities accredited as part of your course (e.g. placements). Additionally, as the funding is part of Northumbria University's Access & Participation Plan (APP) which is a UK Office for Students (OfS) initiative, we are only able to accept applications from Home and EU undergraduate students.

Before applying, please read the FAQs below to ensure you are eligible. Applicants must be prepared to answer potential queries from the Student Inclusion Team before a decision is made.

Eligible costs must be related to activities in the UK and may include (but are not restricted to) any of the following:

  • Standard class travel up to £50 within 100 miles, up to £100 within 200 miles and up to £150 within 300 miles
  • Transport costs to and from temporary work experience and/or internships. Or interviews/assessment centres
  • Subsidence without overnight stay up to £25 (£30 if London)
  • Subsidence including overnight stay up to £30 (£35 if London)
  • Accommodation up to £80 a night, or up to £100 in London, to attend an interview selection process or short-term work experience opportunity
  • Up to £150 towards professional clothing costs for interviews (in person or virtual)
  • Essential uniform and tools
  • DBS Certificate where this is essential criteria to undertake an internship, work experience etc., where this can not be supported through other University funding
  • Applications to recover lost documents such as birth certificates, which may be crucial in order for the student to obtain work experience in the first place
  • Course/conference attendance, events and conferences etc. (physical or virtual)
  • Software packages for online recruitment
  • Online training and development opportunities e.g. 'LinkedIn Learning' initial subscription

When considering any of the above please abide by COVID guidelines, as outlined by Public Health England

We cannot award funding for costs that have already been incurred, therefore you need to apply to ELF before the employment opportunity takes place. Awards cannot be made retrospectively. 

Examples of costs which will not be eligible for funding include (but are not restricted to):

  • Any costs associated with travel and accommodation outside of the UK 

  • Placement costs - information on funding a placement can be found on the Student Portal 

  • If you can claim the money back through other means (e.g NHS) 

  • Any travel which involves fundraising for another cause 

  • We are unlikely to support activities directly related to the development of your own enterprise and/or self-employment

  • Any activity which is outside the described remit of the Fund or determined by the University

  • Rent and other living costs such as food and utility bills

  • Rental deposits

  • Daily commuting costs

  • Travel outside of the UK 

You cannot apply for funding retrospectively. You must apply at least three full weeks before the employment opportunity, where possible. This is to allow time for reviewing your application for funding and, where appropriate, agree any risk assessments that may be required.

Where a claim is submitted in less than the three week notice period, we will do our best to process these, however, a successful outcome cannot be guaranteed. 

The funding is part of Northumbria's Access & Participation plan (APP) as a result, only Home and EU undergraduate students who meet the criteria below may be successful with their application. Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Students from any course and level from Foundation Year through to Undergraduate Final Year can apply, providing you meet one of the following criteria:

  • Black Asian or Minority Ethnic Student
  • Care Leaver
  • Commuter Student
  • Estranged Student
  • First Generation
  • Gypsy Roma and Travelling Communities
  • LGBTQ+
  • Low Participation Neighbourhood
  • Mature Student
  • Student with a Disability or Specific Learning Difficulty
  • Student with a Household Income of Less than £25000
  • Student with a Military Background
  • Student with Caring Responsibilities
  • Student with Refugee Status

Click here for a description of each student group listed above.

Click here to view the terms and conditions of the Employability Learning Fund.



Contact Us




Tel: 01912274127


Current students can enquire via their student portal.

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