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United Youth Programme

The United Youth Programme is a headline commitment within the NI Executive’s Together: Building A United Community Strategy

Project Description 

The United Youth Programme is a headline commitment within the NI Executive’s Together: Building A United Community Strategy and is being developed by the Department for Employment and Learning.

United Youth will engage with young people who may face a number of disadvantages, and provide them with a positive programme experience which builds their personal and leadership capabilities and which, above all, helps them act as a resource for the continued development of community relations in Northern Ireland.

The specific aims of the United Youth Programme are to:

  • build community relations
  • create better citizens
  • provide volunteering and employment experience for young people in the target group.

United Youth has a strong focus on the achievement of outcomes for individual participants.  Practitioner skills for helping participants achieve change are an important focus during the development of the programme.

A pilot phase is going forward in the current year which will create 300 places for young people and capture learning for the development of a service design framework for the main United Youth Programme.

The United Youth Programme is anticipated to provide 10,000 places over the following years.

Project Status

Work has been ongoing over the past year in preparation for a United Youth Pilot Phase in 2015-16.  This has involved stakeholder engagement, a first stage ‘concept proposal’ process, a development phase with organisations which submitted a promising concept proposal, and a second stage application process following this development phase.

The implementation of selected pilot projects is expected to commence shortly.

SIB Involvement

A Strategic Adviser is based with DEL (now Dept. for the Economy and Dept. for Communities) to assist with the development of the programme.  The role is to support engagement with stakeholders as part of a co-design process for United Youth, assist with the development and testing of an outcomes based framework during the pilot phase, and work with pilot providers and the Department to arrive at a service design framework for the main United Youth Programme.


For further information contact

Anne McCready, Strategic Adviser

M 07787498654 T 02890252375 E anne.mccready@sibni.org