The Youthreach Programme

and highlights from some DDLETB Youthreach celebratory events 

The Youthreach programme introduced in 1988, is the Irish government’s primary response to early school leaving. It provides young people aged 15 to 20 years who drop out of school or leave second-level school before Leaving Certificate level, with access to alternative education and training, progression and social inclusion. 

The programme is funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund (ESF) and centres are managed by Education & Training Boards (ETB’s). The two year programme provides integrated education, training and work experience with a strong personal development emphasis for almost 7,000 young people in 112 centres nationwide. 

It gives young people positive learning experiences, builds capacities, and provides qualifications and progression to further education, training and employment, enhancing the core skills of literacy, numeracy, communications and provides a choice of vocational options and a work experience programme. 

Dublin & Dún Laoghaire Education & Training Board (DDLETB)operate 11 centres in Balbriggan, Swords, Rush, Blanchardstown, Lucan, Clondalkin, Tallaght, Sallynoggin Rathfarnham. Youthreach students receive an allowance each week depending on age, along with transport and meal allowances. Every DDLETB Youthreach centre has the online Basic Key Skills Builder (BKSB) system in place which supports literacy & numeracy. 

DDLETB is the first ETB to offer all their Youthreach students a free  internationally recognised student card. The curriculum can differ from centre to centre, is varied (academic & non-academic) and focuses on the holistic development of the individual within a learning environment which is structured, challenging, student-centred and participant-led. 

DDLETB Psychological Support Service (PSS) is available to all staff and students registered within the ETB system. They deliver preventative work with target groups and offer professional and personal support to teaching staff in relation to centre issues and support to parents, in relation to individually referred young persons. Our centres are Quality Health Promoting centres aiming to improve the physical, mental and emotional health of all students and staff.

EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira visited Youthreach Swords and was overwhelmed by the work, skills and achievements of both present and past students and staff. The Commissioner asked students about their educational journeys, listening with such interest to their stories and how Youthreach had changed their lives for the better.

Youthreach Clondalkin were delighted to welcome Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science  Simon Harris and European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit to their centre. 

Commissioner Schmit said: “It was very inspiring to join Minister Harris for a tour of the Youthreach Clondalkin centre which is co-funded by the EU. The young people we met told us that Youthreach is like a community where they are really supported. Their talents are developed, and they find jobs or further education”. 

Minister Harris visited many of our centres and chose Youthreach Swords to make a substantial investment announcement for DDLETB Further Education & Training sector.

DDLETB Youthreach Rush past student Ava was asked to represent Youthreach in Brussels at the EU Commission and a special piece of art commissioned from our Youthreach Sallynoggin student Serge was presented to the Commissioner. Youthreach Rush also celebrated their 30th anniversary with personal video congratulations from EU Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, Minister Simon Harris and a beautiful letter penned by The President of Ireland.

Centres took part in numerous national projects and competitions where prizes and awards were won by students and staff across all 11 centres in art, technology and literature. Youthreach Blanchardstown had a Junk Kouture winner and Antoinette Nolan Resource Person in Youthreach Clondalkin won the prestigious Leading Ireland’s Future Together (LiFT) Dominick Lewis Excellence in Leadership Award 2022 and Youthreach Clondalkin centre were presented with the Living Lift Award. 

Want to know more about DDLETB Youthreach? Check out DDETB Youthreach’s social media on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook and YouTube or DDLETB website. Keep watch for the new DDLETB Youthreach website launching summer 2023 or call into your nearest centre. 

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