Skills development programmes

We have established a strong reputation for delivering high quality, large scale skills development programmes for young people from predominantly disadvantaged backgrounds. From outdoor learning to money management, we reach and engage young people who don’t traditionally have access to personal development opportunities.

We work with organisations and young people in our movement to ensure all our programmes meet their changing needs. We use this insight to build high-profile partnerships to co-create and deliver innovative, accessible, funded opportunities for young people to empower them to engage with employment, volunteering or training.

To ensure there’s something for every young person, we deliver our programmes in five key interest areas. Click on the circles below to find out more:



Generation Code

Generation Code addresses the lack of computer science skills in young people, empowering them to become digital creators in an ever-changing global society. Run in partnership with Microsoft, our national programme provides coding opportunities to 11-19 year olds to inspire them to create and explore the digital world.

The programme is led by Code Champions aged 16-25 with no previous coding experience. The Code Champions are trained to take the lead on delivering regular coding activities to younger people in their area. Using Micro:bit technology, Generation Code brings coding to life as young people are supported to make all sorts of creations, from robots to musical instruments.

For more information, contact:



UPS Road Code

UPS Road Code helps keep young people safe in and around cars and forms the UK arm of the UPS Foundation’s global innovative programme. The road hazard awareness programme engages 13-19 year olds and provides them with the skills and confidence to speak up in potentially dangerous driving situations.

Our innovative programme uses virtual reality technology and driving simulators in workshops co-delivered by youth workers and UPS driver volunteers. As well as providing ‘behind the wheel’ experience, UPS Road Code focusses on passenger safety to make young people aware of how to keep themselves and others safe in and around cars.

For more information, contact:


EmpowHER inspires young women and girls lead change in their community. The programme, delivered in partnership with the British Red Cross and Young Women’s Trust with funding from Spirit of 2012, aims to address low levels of wellbeing amongst young women and girls in the UK by empowering them to have a voice, be heard and give back to their local community.

Through face-to-face activity sessions, young women and girls will learn about individuals’ rights, empowerment and resilience. They will then be supported to give back to their community through inclusive and meaningful social action opportunities provided by the British Red Cross, as well as receiving specialised leadership training from the Young Women’s Trust.

For more information, contact:




FutureProof safeguards young people by equipping them with the critical thinking skills needed to stay safe. Our innovative programme, funded by the Monday Trust and Home Office, strengthens local youth services and upskills youth workers to better support young people to stay safe, cope with uncertainty and build vital life skills.

FutureProof was developed in response to our members’ need for increased safeguarding training and uses the UK Youth Safe Spaces framework to set a minimum level of practice consistent with operating a safe organisation. As well as creating safe spaces, our programme empowers youth workers to deal with the changing needs of young people and identify health and safety, safeguarding, grooming and radicalisation risks.

For more information, contact:



Reach Up

Reach Up engages 16 to 23 year olds who are either NEET, at risk of becoming NEET or underemployed (i.e. involuntarily working part-time after failing to secure full-time employment) and empowers them with the confidence, skills and experience needed to feel ready for the work place.

The programme, in partnership with Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), addresses the key issues young people face surrounding employment through a range of activities. These include workshops delivered by youth workers and CCEP volunteers; networking masterclasses; mock interviews; and real life experience through spending a day in the life of the CCEP’s Field Sales team and even running their own Community Café! At the end of the programme, young people will have the employability skills and confidence to secure full-time employment and thrive within the workplace.

For more information, visit Reach Up or contact:

The Ideas Factory

The Ideas Factory is an exciting new programme in partnership with The David Evans Grass Roots Foundation that will engage more young people in entrepreneurship and enterprise. Microsoft, Disney, Virgin… all these exceptional brands were started by people who had entrepreneurial skills. This programme will build these skills and help teach young people that there are many roads to success! 

Young people between the ages of 14-25 will be involved in a Challenge Day to brainstorm a business solution in order to help solve a problem within their local area or a global issue close to their heart. This might be a start-up cafe in the north west solely employing people with criminal records. Or it could be a surfer in the south west with a vision to create a biodegradable surfboardThe winning ideas from each region, and their young creators will receive support in the form of workshops and mentoring to further develop their entrepreneurial skills!   

It will be piloted this year across 3 regions of the UK through youth organisations within our Movement. For more information please contact: 



Sound Creators

UK Youth and our funders Spirit of 2012 have partnered to pilot a new programme focused on supporting young female carers to engage in music activities with the aim of reducing loneliness and improving their mental health and wellbeing. Through this creative programme, young carers will learn new music making skills, becoming more confident in both the production and creation of music, and, by the end of the programme will have been supported to write, or even perform, a piece of music. By using music as a method of engagement, we hope that this programme will provide a supportive, safe space, where young carers can learn to use music to increase their resilience and improve their emotional wellbeing. This programme will be delivered by 6 delivery partners located in the South West, North West and London or Home Counties over the next 18 months.



Starbucks Youth Action

Starbucks Youth Action addresses the key issues young people face surrounding employment and develops their readiness for the workplace. Our programme, funded by Starbucks, empowers disadvantaged young people with the confidence, skills and experience needed to engage with employment.

Money for Life

Money for Life inspires young people to make the most of their money. Funded by Lloyds Banking Group, our programme provides 16-25 year olds with the skills they need to manage their money, feel confident and start talking openly about money.

The programme provides holistic money management support to young people through face-to-face Money Masterclasses, an innovative website providing online expert advice, a savings app called Pennies to Pounds and social action projects through our Community Challenges.

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The Big Music Project

The Big Music Project empowers young people through the power of music. In partnership with Global and with funding from the Big Lottery Fund, our programme inspires and equips young people with the skills needed to succeed in the creative industry.

The programme works with the biggest brands in music and breaks entry barriers by creating and highlighting the best industry opportunities, running training schemes in the 110 Music Hubs we set up in our network and providing work experience, internships and hands-on skills development projects to help young people get a foot in the door.


Digi-Know tackled the lack of basic digital skills in young people and was part of Nominet Trust’s Digital Reach programme. Targeted at engaging young people who are facing personal, circumstantial or systemic barriers which could lead to digital exclusion, our programme empowered young people with the skills needed to access a world that is now digital-by-default.

Through the programme, we created 10 Digi-Know Hubs in youth organisations in our network. In these bespoke digital spaces, we provided training to youth workers and young Champions to enable them to deliver creative digital skills programmes through a range of dynamic, interactive resources.

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Internet Citizens

The Internet Citizens programme empowered young people to be creative, confident and safe online. Run in partnership with Google and YouTube, the programme supported 13-18 year olds to become critical consumers of information online and feel confident to use social media to communicate their views and ideas in a positive way.

Run through a series of fun and interactive workshops, the programme equipped young people with the critical thinking skills needed to safeguard themselves online, demonstrating the power of the internet to bring people together and share their voice online positively.


Change Squad

Change Squad inspired young people to give back to their local community through social action. We provided 151 Change Squad teams with up to £400 of funding to enable them to create, develop and deliver inspiring social action projects that addressed local issues.



Our NCS Pathfinder programme put an urban twist on the traditional NCS delivery to help engage more young people from deprived communities. After identifying that not every young person wants to take part in outdoor learning, we took 150 young people from across the UK on a residential trip to London. In the capital, the young people took part in a series of “The Apprentice” style challenges, met leading employers, visited inspiring London landmarks and tackled the London Underground.  Back in their home town, the young people attended a series of workshops and designed and delivered their own social action projects.

Active Youth

Active Youth was a two-year programme dedicated to getting inactive young people involved in physical activity. Funded by Sport England, the programme inspired over 2,500 young people who were not currently undertaking any regular exercise to become more active, as well as providing youth organisations with fitness equipment, training and local partnerships to enable sustainable delivery of physical activity.