The Youthreach programme aims to help young people mainly in the 15-20 age group to make the transition from school to work through the provision of co-ordinated foundation training, education and work experience. The ESF-funded programme beneficiaries are young individuals, often with no work experience, who therefore may find it more difficult to move into the labour market.
The programme is aimed primarily at young people who have no qualifications or have incomplete qualifications through statutory education. Subjects vary and can include vocational subjects such as Woodwork, metalwork, Cooking, Art, Computers, and developing basic Maths, English and Communications skills and applying these to vocational subjects.
The Youthreach programme provides up to two years integrated education, training and work experience for unemployed early school leavers without any qualifications or vocational training. Youthreach students are also entitled to a weekly allowance that varies depending on the age of students.
There is a strong emphasis on personal development, on the core skills of literacy/numeracy, communications and IT, along with a choice of vocational options and a work experience programme. The programme has been extremely prolific: to date, nearly 14 000 young people have participated, providing real opportunities to pursue a better start to their working life.