Employability Fund

The Employability Fund (previously called the John Lewis Foundation) was established to support projects that invest in vulnerable young people. It’s there to help those living in disadvantaged communities to access the education and skills required to achieve sustainable employment in the UK and abroad.

Our story

Empowering workers and improving skills is right at the heart of the John Lewis Partnership ethos. And the John Lewis Foundation was founded in 2007 to continue this vision. We began by providing financial aid to a school in a region of India that supplied rugs to John Lewis. Since then, we’ve become an established grant maker for employability skills in the UK and abroad. We also work closely with other charities on collaborative and joint projects.

Our story images

Giving guidelines

The Employability Fund exists to support communities that share a connection to the John Lewis Partnership. As such, there are some criteria for eligibility, which can be found in our guidance pack.

How to apply

Applications are currently closed for the Employability Fund. We will update this page when we are open for applications. If you are currently funded by the John Lewis Partnership Foundation and need to contact us, please email us at trustsandfoundations@johnlewis.co.uk.

Case studies

Our story images

We granted funding of £87,300 to CYLF, for their Youth Employability Support (YES) project for two years. By the end of 2024, 150 disadvantaged 13- to 15-year-olds will have received one-to-one coaching, access to business mentoring and training in employability skills, widening horizons for their future careers. Our Partners in the Hong Kong Sourcing Office regularly volunteer their time at the Changing Young Lives Foundation. 

Our story images

In 2021, drawing on the success of previous separate projects with Toybox & British Asian Trust, we helped bring these two charities together.
They wanted to initiate a collaborative approach to getting street children into education in Jaipur, India. Allocating £450,000, we funded a three-year collaboration –meaning that the expertise of both charities could be used, to make sure no child is left behind in the mission to eradicate child exploitation and child labour.

Our story images

We granted £99,889 to help Blackburn Youth Zone expand their youth services provision into Darwen, home of Herbert Parkinson Ltd.
With our support, Blackburn Youth Zone established their ‘Youth Hub’, providing employability support to 200 16- to 24-year-olds. Herbert Parkinson soft furnishings also provide World of Work tours of the factory, helping young people who are accessing the Youth Hub services upskill for meaningful jobs.

Our story images

We granted funding of £87,300 to CYLF, for their Youth Employability Support (YES) project for two years. By the end of 2024, 150 disadvantaged 13- to 15-year-olds will have received one-to-one coaching, access to business mentoring and training in employability skills, widening horizons for their future careers. Our Partners in the Hong Kong Sourcing Office regularly volunteer their time at the Changing Young Lives Foundation. 

Our story images

In 2021, drawing on the success of previous separate projects with Toybox & British Asian Trust, we helped bring these two charities together.
They wanted to initiate a collaborative approach to getting street children into education in Jaipur, India. Allocating £450,000, we funded a three-year collaboration –meaning that the expertise of both charities could be used, to make sure no child is left behind in the mission to eradicate child exploitation and child labour.

Our story images

We granted £99,889 to help Blackburn Youth Zone expand their youth services provision into Darwen, home of Herbert Parkinson Ltd.
With our support, Blackburn Youth Zone established their ‘Youth Hub’, providing employability support to 200 16- to 24-year-olds. Herbert Parkinson soft furnishings also provide World of Work tours of the factory, helping young people who are accessing the Youth Hub services upskill for meaningful jobs.

Our other funds

Golden Jubilee Trust
Nature Fund
Building Happier Futures

John Lewis Partnership Foundation

Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN

Registered Charity number: Registered in England and Wales (1118162) 

Registered Company number: Registered in England and Wales (06058796)     
Email: trustsandfoundations@johnlewis.co.uk