The FA has opened the application process for the Coaching Bursary scheme, which will support aspiring coaches from under-represented communities to take the next steps on their coaching pathways.
The current initiative for coaches wanting to gain their FA Level 3 (UEFA B) in Coaching Football qualification is jointly backed by funding from Sport England and builds on the previous COACH bursary programme by providing all female coaches as well as male coaches from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds with a financial contribution towards an FA coaching course.
As part of The FA’s commitment to addressing the under representation of BAME coaches, more opportunities are accessible now than ever before.
As well as The FA Level 3 bursaries, coaches working in the professional game can receive financial contributions towards any of the following - The FA Level 4 (UEFA A) in Coaching Football, The FA Advanced Youth Award or The FA Level 5 (UEFA Pro) in Coaching Football.
The FA’s Coach Inclusion and Diversity Manager Wayne Allison, who oversees the bursary programme, said: “What we’re aiming to do is increase not just representation, but the talent pool from which clubs can pick their managers and coaches.
“We’ve had some great successes in previous years, with some exciting young, aspirational coaches being able to access a new tier of learning they might not have been able to do otherwise.
“I urge any coach reading this who is from an under-represented community to take a closer look at these bursaries and consider whether it’s something that could be beneficial to them. We want to hear from you.”
A key advocate of the scheme is England U20’s interim head coach Paul Williams, who believes making access to qualifications is vital in helping more coaches unlock the next level in their careers.
He said: “Managerial jobs in the country are based on experience but crucially qualifications too which is why getting up that coaching ladder is really important.
“It's something I've really majored on throughout my coaching and managerial career to date and I'm constantly taking new courses to improve.
"That's why it's great to see The FA put this sort of support in place for coaches where cost is a barrier to getting that next qualification. It's a fantastic initiative."
The application process is open from Wednesday 9 November 2016 to Monday 30 January 2017 and can be submitted by visiting the coaching bursary portal here.
To find out more about the bursary, take a look at our frequently asked questions page, which is available here.