United Youth, a key commitment in the Northern Ireland Executive’s ‘Together: Building a United Community’ Strategy, is a commitment to provide a youth programme that provides flexible, high-quality, young-person-centred opportunities for young people who are not in education, employment or training.

United Youth pilot phase

Following an extensive co-design process involving young people and other key stakeholders, 12 United Youth pilots ran across Northern Ireland from August 2015 to March 2016.

Around 350 16–24 year olds took part in a range of activities designed to develop their capabilities across four key outcome areas: good relations, citizenship, personal development and employability. The purpose of the pilot phase was to test a range of approaches to achieving sustainable positive change with the target group, with a view to developing a service design framework for the United Youth Programme post 2015/16. An independent external evaluation of the pilot phase was completed and the findings were very positive.

United Youth delivery – PEACE IV and PEACE PLUS

The NI executive and Irish government have secured EU PEACE funding which will fund programmes to meet the objectives of the United Youth commitment.

The commitment was delivered under the PEACE IV funded Peace4Youth programme from 2017 until 2022, and successfully delivered against three main outcome areas of good relations, personal development and citizenship. 11 projects were involved, and around 7,800 young people completed the programme The final impact evaluations show clear positive progression for young people who completed the programme:

A similar PEACE PLUS - SEUPB funded United Youth programme has been developed. This will build on the success of the Peace4Youth programme and include two additional outcome areas of employability skills and positive progression.

Funding calls

Funding calls for the appointment of delivery organisations and the Quality and Impact Body have now closed and it is expected successful organisations will be appointed by SEUPB and delivery will commence in early 2024.




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