Grants and bursaries change people’s lives by upskilling them, making stronger communities and a stronger country. The cost of training is, ironically, often the barrier to obtaining skills to ensure employment or career progress.
Grant and bursary programmes are designed to help people that are in valid financial need to access training programmes and thereby gain meaningful employment. The grant or bursary usually covers the total cost of studying and, often, more than that.
As studies have shown that employment take-up nearly doubles, due to grants and bursaries, there has been a growth in investment into grant and bursary programmes.
COVID-19 may have slowed down the administration time taken to award bursaries but the opportunities are still there. Indeed, the government and industry have recognised that grants and bursaries are needed for skills development more than ever before.
Grants and bursary options
To apply for most grants and bursaries, you need to apply directly to the organisation offering them. There is usually an online application form or qualifying calculators that can tell you if you qualify.
In addition to addressing training, if you are a parent you might also be able to get childcare grants while you study. There are a few options available on the Gov.co.uk website.
Another platform that has collated information on sourcing grants is Turn2Us. Here you can find information about training grants and do a grant search.
A grant is only awarded if you meet the eligibility rules of that fund. They are also not necessarily always given as money as some are in the form of products or services.
In any form, they don’t have to be paid back. There are also some supporting services offered, such as advice, information and support.
Here are a few options for different bursaries, grants, trusts and funds that you may be eligible to apply for:
City and guilds bursaries
City & Guilds bursaries were created to address the huge skills shortages in sectors that are extremely important for the future of the UK. Feedback from employers has highlighted a swiftly increasing difficulty in filling available jobs due to skills shortages. The City & Guilds bursaries program was established 20 years ago and strives to give citizens the best possible chance of finding long-term employment and transforming the economy and the country.
Dance and drama awards
Dance and Drama Awards help with fees as well as assisting with living costs. A DaDA (Dance and Drama Award) is awarded by one of the 17 private dance and drama schools. You should apply directly to the school, simultaneously notifying them that you want to apply for a DaDA.
Requirements: Age 16 – 23, must show talent and a likelihood to succeed in the industry.
NHS bursary is an option if you are training in medicine, dentistry or healthcare. You do not have to pay your NHS bursary back. If, however, you are not eligible for a bursary, you may still want to consider applying for student finance.
Additionally, you can also apply for extra help if you have:
A disability, long-term health condition, mental health condition or specific learning difficulty
You choose to do a practice placement
The medical course runs for more than 30 weeks and 3 days in the academic year
A Social work bursary is available if you wish to work in the social work sector. If you are granted a Social Work bursary, you will receive help with living costs and tuition fees. The granting of it does not depend on your household income and does not have to be paid back.
Advanced Learners are not forgotten in the training funding world. You can apply for an Advanced Learner Loan. This will assist you with the costs of a college course or a training provider in England and is not subject to your income levels and credit checks. This does have to be paid back.
When you repay your loan, it is only expected when your income is over a certain threshold.
The 16 to 19 bursary fund
A 16 to 19 Bursary Fund will help with your training and education costs if you’re aged 16 to 19. You will need to be at a publicly funded school or college in England – not a university or on a training course. The latter includes quantifiable unpaid work experience.