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The Training Unit focuses on developing and delivering quality training and accreditation opportunities for young people, young leaders, volunteers and youth workers.

We work with young people to:

  • Increase volunteering and leadership - developing the skills and potential of people, young leaders, and volunteers through a range of youth leadership accredited programmes ( levels 1- 4)
  • Build resilience - supporting  disadvantaged young people  to regain a sense of purpose and self worth in making a transition into employment, education or training
  • Increase economic activity - delivering a range of employability programmes to young unemployed people aged 16 – 25 years
  • Be active in communities - working in partnership with local communities to deliver flexible and tailored programmes to young people

Youth work training


The Training Unit has been developing and delivering accredited youth work training and employability programmes for young people, young leaders, part time workers and volunteers since 1989. Over the years we have played a key role in designing and piloting   programmes to meet the developing needs of our sector working closely with the Youth Work Training Board, strategic and community based partners.

The Community Leadership Programme has now become the flagship Apprenticeship in Youth Work programme within the youth sector in  Northern  Ireland and the border communities.

Over the years we have developed strong links with the University of Ulster to develop pathways and progression routes for young and emerging community leaders.

Supporting disadvantaged young people


In the 1980’s and  early 1990’s the 'young people at work' residential programmes were the first opportunities for aspiring youth workers to gain their first and memorable experiences in youth work. Targeted at young people on government training initiatives these programmes offered young people new learning experiences to support their personal and social development.  At this time YouthAction NI  identified the need for more comprehensive specialised programmes specifically for young unemployed people who had not achieved at school and who lacked basic skills and knowledge to progress into work.

Our Positive Action programme of the 1990's funded through the first round of European Social Funds (ESF) sought to address some of the barriers young people face in entering the world of work. Using youth work approaches and methodologies in a non formal learning context the programme supported many young people to achieve qualifications and employment.

Our REACH Project, GET SET project and The Youth Achievement Awards scheme are examples of current  models of practice that YouthAction NI  now offers to young people aged 14 - 25 years to help them develop new skills, get  formal accreditation for their achievements and support them towards employment or back into education.

Increasingly there is a growing recognition of the  important role of youth work and its methodologies in supporting disadvantaged  young people to achieve the necessary, skills, confidence and qualifications to make positive changes to their lives.

YouthAction NI  uses its extensive experience to delivering high quality training and accreditation opportunities for young people and youth workers. Our aim is to continue to build on that experience and to use our skills and expertise to ensure all our programmes continue to meet the needs of our young people and our work force.

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YouthAction Northern Ireland, 14 College Square North, Belfast,
Northern Ireland, BT1 6AS
T: 028 9024 0551 F: 028 9024 0556

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