VocTech Activate FAQs

These are questions specific to the VocTech Activate grant call. They are in addition to our standard FAQs and should be read alongside these and our standard Terms & Conditions of Grant.

VocTech Activate FAQ


Twelve to fifteen.

Yes - but one good application is better than several mediocre ones.

How well projects meet the criteria.

Read the Increasing Your Chances blog post

This funding call is about funding projects which meet an already identified vocational learning need.

We don't fund pure research projects. However, if in the course of the project further needs are identified, then we would be interested to hear what steps you intended to take to tackle these.

The project beneficiaries should be of working age.

Our aim is create projects which improve the skills of the workforce which will be used in the workplace.

This is up to you and will depend on the skills and expertise you have available in the college and what tech solution your project aims to deliver.

No, but you would need to explain why you have chosen that particular technology - what makes it the best solution to address the issue- and how you would overcome the gaps in your knowledge.

We know that there is never only one solution to a vocational learning problem.

You would need to evidence why you think your proposed project is better than what is already out there and show how it would be beneficial to tackle the problem from a different angle

There is no need to have formal partnerships in place by the application deadline but you should be able to show how you have discussed and planned how best to work together to deliver.

Projects can be B2C. You will need to explain how they addressed a vocational learning issue and what evidence you have that there is a scalable market for the solution.

Yes. You will need to explain what vocational learning issue your project is addressing and how you will access and retain your learners.

Ufi funding will pay for towards the cost of buying the equipment and kit that is necessary to deliver the project as well as salaries, project management and so on.

VocTech Activate funding can not be used to pay for capital costs of buildings. When looking at costs we will assess the balance of what you plan to spend in relation to the goals and objectives of your project.

It is up to you to devise your project plan and explain what the essential costs of your project are.

If you proposed paying users to be involved in testing you would need think about how you judged the objectivity of their input.

No. There is no formal requirement for match funding.

As a charity, we welcome contributions from applicants and partners, whether in cash or in kind. Applications will be strengthened if there are contributions (in cash or in kind) from your own or other organisations which help to demonstrate commitment to the project, its perceived value, and long term impact.

Please refer to our terms and conditions for clarification.

Yes but this is done entirely at your own risk.

We expect all projects to start within six months of being offered a grant.

If you were not able to start because you had not raised the balance in that time we reserve the right to withdraw our funding offer.

Yes - but acronyms should be used a sparingly as possible. Acronyms should be understandable from context. If in doubt, use full terms on first use in application form and acronyms thereafter.

We will these fund costs where they are necessary for successful project delivery. They need to be fully described and we would expect these costs to be appropriate to the overall scale and nature of the project. See hardware, software, and connectivity.

No. Project beneficiaries must be in the UK - not preparing to come here.

Projects aimed at improving the mental health or well-being of the workforce are not eligible. Our position is that good mental health and well being are not, for our purposes, vocational skills.

Yes - the principle is that the beneficiaries must be in the UK.

We do not fund projects which are just researching an issue. Activate projects aim to test whether a digital vocational solution will work with an audience. In practice this means developing enough of a digital product to test it with a group of learners in order to determine how/whether it can solve the problem and how it could move forward.

An innovative way of improving the learner experience of assessing learners (and thereby improving take up/targeting of courses) is eligible.

Teachers/trainers are an eligible vocational group.

We look to fund a range of solutions from a range of providers.

Register on MyUfi and you can access the application form. We have tried to make the Stage 1 form as concise as possible while giving applicants adequate space to explain the issue and outline their proposed solution.

Ufi funding will pay for towards the cost of buying the equipment and kit that is necessary to deliver the project as well as salaries, project management and so on.

VocTech Activate funding can not be used to pay for capital costs of buildings. When looking at costs we will assess the balance of what you plan to spend in relation to the goals and objectives of your project.

We do not fund university level projects.

No. But you need to think about how your solution relates to any recognised qualifications, how your learners could demonstrate the skills they have learned

Yes. But the beneficiaries must be vocational learners. Any benefits to university students should be incidental and not considered for funding purposes.

It is up to you to put together all the resources you need for a successful project.

It is up to you to determine how much learning you need to create to meet the needs of your learners. If you don't know you will need to plan how you are going to find out eg through assessment of learner needs, gap analysis etc

We would expect the project to have come to a natural stage in the project lifecycle where you can demonstrate that the project has evidenced its effectiveness (or otherwise).

It is up to you to choose the partner(s) who you feel are best placed to work with you to deliver the project.

NEET refers to young people who are Not in Employment Education or Training. This question is simply for our own data gathering - projects do not need to target NEETs.

No. But the manner of its deployment should be. You could use existing technology to target new audiences, or new sectors or delivering learning in a new way. See also https://ufi.co.uk/faqs/#faq-20

By unloved we mean those sectors or parts of the UK or groups which have benefited less from other funding sources or who have been impacted particularly hard by economic or social changes. If you believe that the group you are working with is 'unloved' please explain why in your application.

Ufi is a UK based charity and only funds projects which directly benefit vocational learners in the UK.  The majority of applications we fund are UK-based.  We will consider applications from organisations based outside the UK if they can clearly demonstrate how they will address vocational learning opportunities in the UK. 

We recognise that addressing overseas markets can improve the sustainability of new approaches and projects would not be disadvantaged if this is part of a longer term business plan, but we don't include the assessment of non-UK beneficiaries when we make a funding decision.

We are keen to encourage applications from anywhere within the UK.  We deliver pre-application webinars to try to ensure that potential applicants can engage with us, wherever they are based.  

This is not something we offer. For Activate we want projects to come to us at a point when they have identified a vocational learning need and a potential digital solution to that need. For many people that will mean working with partners - but it is up to you to find the partners who will suit you best. If you have not got to that stage, it may be that you are at too early a point in the development of your idea to make a successful application for funding. At the very least you would need to explain how you would go about finding and appointing such a partner.

It could be. It depends entirely on what you are testing and the data that you hope you gain from the testing.


Yes. Although you would need to check that the project still met the criteria.

Yes. You will need to explain how the project creates public benefit and why it should receive charitable funding instead of raising money through the usual channels.

We would hope that benefits from the project accrued to both individual learners and the organisation.

Projects must start within six months of a grant being offered, or we reserve the right to withdraw the offer.

A further funding round is planned to start in June 2022