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New round of Belfast Bursary Fund open to students in September

Jamie Hamilton Ferris and Hannah Barnes, students at Belfast Met, were previous recipients of the Achieve Belfast Bursary Fund
Emma Cowan on August 7, 2014 - 10:40 am in News

Applications will open to students soon for the next round of the Belfast Bursary Fund. Belfast City Council has invested £300,000 in Achieve through its Investment Programme which will support hundreds of young people in the city take part in further education and training opportunities.

The Achieve Award of up to £500 is targeted at students who live in the council area who have an annual household income of £25,000 or less and in their first year of full-time study at Belfast Met. They must also be on a course linked to key growth areas such as computing, multimedia, science, renewable energy, tourism or hospitality – 33 courses of which are applicable to the scheme. Administered for the council by Belfast Met, applications will open from Monday 1 September with completed applications submitted to the Belfast Met Finance team by 14 November. Funding decisions will be made in December with first payments made in January 2015.

The other type of Belfast bursary is the Prince’s Trust Development Award which is open to young people aged 16-25 years living in the city who are not in education, training or employment. The scheme aims to help recipients overcome barriers which may prevent them from undertaking training and education or moving into employment. Bursary funding can be used to cover course fees, equipment, books, travel and childcare costs.

Students who received bursary funding previously are Jamie Hamilton Ferris from Highfield and Hannah Barnes from Upper Springfield in Belfast.

Jamie, a first year student on the Edexcel BTEC Diploma in Travel and Tourism (Level 2) at Belfast Met, said: “I wanted to study travel and tourism because I want to work in the cabin crew industry. The barriers I faced as a student were not having the right equipment for my course such a computer and software.

“I used the Achieve Bursary Fund to buy a laptop for my studies and the Microsoft software. I can be more flexible with my time in doing the course now – when to go in and when not to go in. I’m continuing my studies next year doing an Aviation Level 3 course.”

Hannah, a first year student on the Foundation Science Degree in Event Management for the Tourism Industry (Level 5), said: “I decided to do this course as the tourism and events industry is expanding rapidly in Northern Ireland as shown through large events like the G8 summit and the MTV European Music Awards coming here.

“I have to volunteer at events just to gain more experience and skills for my course. Trying to get to the events became difficult in financial ways like entry fees and travel to the events. The Belfast Bursary Fund helped me to attend events and gain experience in working in the events industry. I feel that Achieve has given me a head start and I am a step ahead of others who want to be in the industry.”

Councillor Lee Reynolds, Chair of Belfast City Council’s Strategic Policy and Resources Committee, said: “The Achieve Belfast Bursary Fund is funded through the council’s Investment Programme for 2012-2015 and has the potential to make a real and lasting change to the lives of so many people across the city.

“When creating the Investment Programme, we made it a key priority to help people back into employment or to build their skills levels. The city’s economy will require higher skills levels in the future – with only 1 in 7 jobs likely to require no qualifications.

“We`re delighted to be working with two very highly esteemed partners – the Prince`s Trust and Belfast Met to offer two different types of bursaries for people living in the Belfast City Council area.”

For more information on the Achieve Belfast Bursary Fund, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/achieve


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