Introducing Inspiring Futures – New for 2019/20

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What is Inspiring Futures?

Careers and Employability – Student Futures is committed to providing employability activities that are inclusive for all students regardless of their background.  We recognise that to make the most of these opportunities, some students may require additional support and this is why we have developed Inspiring Futures.

Are you eligible?

To be eligible to participate in Inspiring Futures you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Be in receipt of the University of Chester Bursary or Care Leaver Bursary 
  • Be in receipt of the Sanctuary Scholarship or the Estranged Students Support Package
  • Be a young carer 
  • Have a declared disability
  • Be a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic  (BAME) student

What’s involved?

Inspiring Futures enables eligible students to get involved in:

  • Industry Insights – an opportunity to get involved in a programme of visits to employers in cities other than Chester.
    •, Manchester11th February 2020
      • Find out more and book here
    • FDM Group, Leeds – 4th March 2020
      • Find out more and book here

By participating you will:

  • develop your knowledge and understanding of different industry sectors
  • gain a greater awareness of employers’ recruitment and selection processes
  • increase your confidence and success when applying for graduate roles.

Assessment Centre Simulation 

An opportunity to take part in an assessment centre day and to gain a Level 3 AQA accreditation in Employability Skills.

 February 12 2020 – Find out more and book here

By participating you will:

  • gain a greater awareness and understanding of assessment centre processes and activities
  • increase your confidence in your ability to perform effectively at assessment centres
  • develop your confidence and success when applying for internship opportunities or graduate roles.

NB: participating in Industry Insights or an Assessment Centre Simulation will earn you one point towards The Chester Difference Award.

Inspiring Futures Internships

An opportunity for current students from under-represented  groups to undertake a 175-hour paid internship opportunity within an SME organisation. 

By participating you will:

  • be provided with application and interview support in order to increase the success of your internship application
  • increase your knowledge and understanding of different industry sectors and job roles to aid future career planning and decision making
  • develop your confidence and increase your success when applying for graduate roles in the future.

The European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL)

An opportunity to gain an industry recognised qualification designed specifically for those who:

  • want to gain a basic qualification in computing
  • wish to demonstrate their competence in computer skills in their current position or to develop their skills in order to enhance their career prospects
  • would like to undertake an IT qualification for general interest.

Key benefits for gaining the ECDL qualification include:

  • raising your general level of competency in IT and computer skills
  • improving your productivity at home and at work
  • providing you with an industry recognised qualification
  • enhancing your employment prospects.

To get a feel for what the ECDL involves you can review the training materials for each module via the LIS pages on Portal.

There are three choices for gaining the ECDL qualification at the University of Chester which include:

  • signing up to one of our 15-week training courses. These courses are two hours per week and will cover all of the seven modules, including tests, (recommended for IT beginners)

NB: please note current students should contact the IT Training Team directly to book onto the 15-week course. Please view the timetable, to see when sessions are running, via the LIS pages on Portal. You would need to state which group you would like to join, however please be aware that places are limited so you may not be granted your first choice of group.

  • accessing the modules that you require further training in and sitting the tests when able (recommended for IT intermediate users)
  • signing up to sit the tests only (recommended for IT advanced users).

For questions, more information or to express an interest in starting the ECDL qualification, please contact the IT Training Team by emailing

NB: completing the ECDL will earn you two points towards The Chester Difference Award.

The Futures Employability Fund

An opportunity for eligible students to apply for up to £500 towards their future career. Find out more here.

“The Fund helped me afford suitable clothing for interviews and work placements, which made me feel more confident as well as making me look more professional, and it removed a financial stress.”

“The Fund enabled me to complete a course which I believe has improved my employability that I would not have been able to afford without the funding.”

The Santander Entrepreneurship Fund

Jordan Caldwell

An opportunity for students from under-represented groups to carry out activities, purchase items or gain office space to enhance their enterprise skills, to help build their freelance career or to help them to start up a business.  The fund is non-repayable, with a maximum award of £250 per person.

Guidance Appointments

Uncertain about your career ideas, need help skilling up or ready to make plans? Guidance Appointmen​​​​​​​ts are an opportunity to book a 45-minute appointment with one of our Career Consultants.  This could involve meeting with a named Career Consultant each time (please note this will be arranged wherever possible, however this may result in a slight delay in you being seen).  

Career Chats

An opportunity to book a 15-minute appointment to discuss your CV, personal statement and job application.  Career Chats are available every week day, between 9.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm – 4.30pm. 

To find out more about Inspiring Futures you can:

  • book a 15-minute appointment, via CareerHub, to meet with one of the Careers and Employability team
  • email
  • call 01244 513066