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

United Youth pilot phase

Pilot phase video

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.

Some 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.

Evaluation of pilot phase

An independent external evaluation of the pilot phase has been completed and the findings were very positive. The pilot phase was deemed to have been effective in terms of: 

  • learning and development outcomes for the participants 
  • programme design 
  • engagement with and provision of support to delivery organisations
  • administrative and financial control systems 

A total of 63 per cent of completers proceeded to an employment or training destination and almost 80 per cent to a positive destination overall (employment, further education or volunteering experience). Over 800 accreditations were achieved by participants, with most at level 1 or level 2.

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