Our vision is to ensure that young people from all backgrounds can access our life-changing programmes. As highlighted in our report: Championing difference for a better workforce, we need to widen participation in our programmes and tackle barriers faced by young people from under-represented groups. To break down some of these barriers we have launched our Competitor Support Fund, in partnership with the University Vocational Awards Council. The fund will help cover essential costs for individuals from the following backgrounds:

–      Competitors from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (i.e. families with low income)

–      Learners from a minority ethnic group (such as Black, Asian)

–      Learners with special educational needs or disabilities

–      Females competing in an under-represented sector (e.g. Construction and Engineering)

We’ve established the Competitors Support Fund to help cover essential costs for those who need it, including but not restricted to: travel, equipment and clothing, care responsibilities and staff cover costs for small and medium-sized employers.

The fund will provide a contribution towards the cost of taking part in our National Qualifiers and the National Finals. This includes:

•     Travel to a maximum of £100

•     Day-care for dependents to the maximum of £100

•     Costs to small- and medium-sized employers to a maximum of £100

•     Equipment and clothes required for the competition to a maximum of £100

Applications for support needs not listed above will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Applications

If you are eligible and would benefit from this support, please complete the Competitor Support Fund application form here.

Taking part in a national final?

The closing date for applications 23rd September 2022. Successful applicants will be notified by the 30th September 2022.

National Finals Travel Bursary

Please note if you do not qualify for this fund please see the Nationals Finals Travel Bursary due to be launched shortly.

Recipients of the Competitor Support Fund will not be eligible for the National Finals Travel Bursary

Notification of approval/non-approval of applications

Applicants will be advised of the outcome of their application three weeks before the National Final. If the application is approved the competitor will be contacted in order to supply bank account details to process the payment.

As a publicly funded organisation WorldSkills UK must meet strict auditing requirements so no grant can be paid without a fully-completed application form. Please keep receipts as proof of purchase. WorldSkills UK reserves the right to withdraw the offer of a grant or refuse payment if insufficient information is submitted or if applicants do not meet the submission date.

We’re pleased to be able to provide this grant to support equality of access for competitors who need it. This will help ensure that our programmes are even more inclusive and encourage more young people to enter, from all walks of life.

Justine Pernice, WorldSkills UK Senior Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Programme Manager

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