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Employability Learning Fund

Employability Learning Fund

Get funding to enhance your employability!

Reduce barriers to employability opportunities with the Employability Learning Fund

ELF checklist

-Check what the funds can be used for

-Confirm your eligibility

-Complete quick and easy application

Graduate Futures wants students to take advantage of work experience and experiential learning opportunities, without having to worry about the costs. The Employability Learning Fund (ELF) offers funding so you can develop skills and knowledge to help you progress in your future career.

Whether you need support with attending an interview, assessment centre, conference, or networking event; accessing training opportunities (in-person or online); or buying professional clothes – ELF can help!

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 current Home Undergraduate (UG) students who fall within a Widening Participation (WP) group.

Each application is reviewed on a case by case basis. Eligible costs must be related to activities in the UK and may include (but are not restricted to) any of the following:

  • Transport costs - standard class travel or petrol cost (19p p/mile) - to and from interviews, assessment centres and temporary work experience/internships
  • Subsidence (meals and soft drinks) up to £25 (£30 if London) for a day, or up to £30 (£35 if London) if staying overnight
  • Accommodation up to £100 a night (£180 if London) to attend an interview, assessment century or short-term work experience opportunity
  • Up to £150 towards professional clothing costs for interviews
  • Essential uniform and tools
  • Costs associated with securing a Non Practice Placement (all departments) or Practice Placement (in departments other university funding is not available, inc. Social Work and Education) e.g. travel to interview
  • DBS Certificate where this is essential criteria to undertake an internship/work experience and cannot be supported through other University funding
  • Applications to recover lost documents such as birth certificates, which may be crucial in order to obtain work experience in the first place
  • Course/conference/networking event attendance (in-person or online)
  • Software packages for online recruitment
  • Online training and development opportunities e.g., 'LinkedIn Learning' initial subscription

Those who are eligible can apply for up to £500 per academic year in aggregate. The amount approved will be based on need/cost/benefits. Only reasonable requests will be approved funding; this will include following value for money principles. The activity will need to have demonstrable employability impact. Depending on the amount of funding requested and/or available to the University, we may only provide part of the money requested.

ELF cannot be used for:

  • Any costs associated with travel and accommodation outside of the UK
  • Ongoing Placement costs – information on funding a Practice Placements 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
  • Any activity which is outside the described remit of the Fund or determined by the University
  • Rent and other living costs such as weekly food shopping and utility bills
  • Rental deposits
  • Daily commuting costs

Please note that the entire process – from initial application to receiving the funding in your bank account – can take up to 21 days.

Newcastle and London campus registered Home undergraduate (UG) students, who fall within the following Widening Participation (WP) student groups, can apply for funding:

  • 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 £42,641
  • Student with a Military Background
  • Student with Caring Responsibilities
  • Student with Refugee Status
  • Student Seeking Asylum

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

Apply via your Student Portal

Every application is considered on a case by case basis by a panel. If the funding is agreed, we will ask you to provide your bank details and evidence of the expense(s).

You must apply for funding in advance of an opportunity (not retrospectively). If you’ve only been given short notice of an opportunity, we will consider applications that are submitted up to two working days before the employment opportunity takes place.

The Employability Learning Fund will close on Friday 28 June 2024. If you have an opportunity during the summer please apply before this deadline.



How to Contact Us:

Current students can enquire via their Student Portal. If you are not a current student and you would like to contact us please use this form and we'll be in touch 


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