Youth Council for Northern Ireland
Comhairle Ógra um Thuaisceart Éireann
Council o Youth for Norlin Airlan
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YouthWork+ Employability
YouthWork+ Reports



Youth Works was an initiative funded by the International Fund for Ireland, through the Sharing in Education Programme, and was managed by the Youth Council for Northern Ireland on behalf of the Department of Education.

A key purpose of the initiative was to illustrate the value and impact of a youth work approach to engaging young people not in education, training or employment and supporting them to gain recognised qualifications that would make a positive difference to their long term employment, education and training prospects.

Underpinning the youth work approach were three core themes which were embedded throughout each stage of the programme delivery cycle; Peace and reconciliation, Personal development, and One-to-one mentoring. Two other major themes were incorporated into the programme design as it developed; Parents and agencies and Employability.

Youth Works was designed as a 26 week programme, plus four weeks follow-up mentoring support and was delivered nine times from September 2011 to until it ended in December 2013. 

The programme was evaluated by the Education and Training Inspectorate, and extracts from its June 2013 evaluation report are highlighted throughout the following sections. Whilst highlighting that many of the young people taking part would have benefitted from a programme lasting one year, the “Key message” of the report was that, “The youth work approach used to support and progress the young people was highly successful in raising their aspirations, and preparing them to engage in education, training or employment”.


Delivery Locations

Delivery Organisations


Include Youth in partnership with Artillery Youth Centre, Challenge for Youth, Newstart Education Centre, and NI Alternatives

Foyle / East Londonderry

Opportunity Youth

Newry, Kilkeel & Armagh

YouthAction NI


Jordan Scanlan (right) shows he's up for a challenge at the celebration event to mark the end of the second round of
the North Belfast, IFI funded, Youth Works project, with special guest at the event, double Olympic bronze medallist,
Paddy Barnes

Based on the learning from Youth Works, 'A Framework of Effective Interventions' was developed as a practical guide to the implementation of a personal and social development programme, rooted in a youth work approach, which has proven successful in identifying and engaging young people with the most complex needs and issues.

Barriers to Participation is an extract from the full publication which describes the practical steps and simple solutions reached by each of the organisations involved in the delivery of the initiative and which made the difference between whether a young person engaged in the first place, stayed with the programme or left early.
A key purpose of the case study/biography (MS Word format  /  pdf format) in the Youth Works programme was to provide supporting qualitative information for and illustrate the data collected through the Young People's Outcomes Questionnaire. The Young People's Questionnaire (MS Word format  /  pdf format) was developed in order to establish a baseline from which young people could gauge their own sense of development and distance travelled. Questionnaires were completed at the start, middle and end of the programme.

"A Little Bit of…" is a booklet capturing young people's reflections and includes a purposeful approach to 'story gathering' in which young people shared insights and perspective on their lives with a youth worker over a number of months. The poems and stories are an insight into 'a little bit of what’s happening' for these young people in the Newry, Kilkeel and Armagh areas.

Outcomes & Indicators (MS Word format  /  pdf format) - outcomes are simply all the changes that thappen as a result of the activities you undertake in your project. Indicators are the things that young people demonstrate, are observed or heard, which indicates a change in their knowledge, attitudes or skills as a result of taking part in a project. The attached guidance was developed as an aid to assist youth workers and young people to consider as well as recognise and articulate changes in their knowledge, attitudes, skills or behaviour that may be attributed to engagement in the project.
The continuum of peace & reconciliation interventions illustrates the range and scope of the work undertaken with young people to enhance self-respect as well as respect for and understanding of difference. An evaluation of the Youth Works pilot programme is available by clicking the link: Pilot Programme Evaluation