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

The Generation Code Accelerator programme, run by UK Youth in partnership with Microsoft, aims to address the lack of embedded, sustainable digital provision in the youth sector by inspiring and upskilling youth workers to become Digital Changemakers.

The programme will provide access to expert technical training, resources, digital skills workshops, grant opportunities, mentorship and a network of partnerships to enable Digital Changemakers to create a sustainable eco-system of digital provision in local communities across the UK. The accelerator has three strands which can be accessed by any youth organisation in UK Youth’s movement.



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 and the #iwill Fund 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. The #iwill Fund is made possible thanks to £50 million joint investment from The National Lottery Community Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to support young people to access high quality social action opportunities

For more information, contact:

Outdoor Activators

Outdoor Activators engage 720 young people from communities in Newcastle, Coventry, Northumberland and Leicestershire over three years. Through this programme participants will engage in meaningful social action and physical activity in the outdoors allowing them to develop crucial skills to build bright futures. The funding has been provided in partnership between Sport England and #iwill; a UK-wide campaign funded jointly by the Big Lottery Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Outdoor Activators will provide the structure, support and seed funding of £250 for young people to lead quality social action programmes that develop their life skills and increase their local communities access to physical activity in the outdoors.

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 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 empowers youth workers to support the changing needs of young people and identify risks young people might experience such as poor mental health, online safety concerns and grooming risks.

For more information, contact:

Be Internet Citizens

UK Youth is currently delivering Google’s digital citizenship programme, Be Internet Citizens. This is an educational programme that aims to inform young people about media literacycritical thinking and digital citizenship, with the aim of encouraging young people to have a positive voice online. Working with a network of partners, we hope to engage thousands of young people aged 13+ in Be Internet Citizens across the UK.

To learn more about the content of the curriculum visit:

For more information, contact:

Dream It Real

Dream It Real is a global initiative that was initially launched by Coach’s philanthropic Coach Foundation in 2018. It aims to support and build a generation of young people who will have the confidence and skills to truly act on and follow their dreams across the world. In the U.K, the Coach Foundation partners with UK Youth to expand the Dream It Real movement to reach young people across the United Kingdom in the same exciting and meaningful ways.




Reach Up

Reach Up engages 16 to 25 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:



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.



The Ideas Factory

The Grass Roots Foundation and UK Youth partnered to pilot a new programme to provide young people aged 14-25 with an introduction to entrepreneurship. This opportunity was made available in Coventry, London and Bolton, with each programme delivered to participants over four to six weeks. The winning ideas from each region, and their young creators received support in the form of workshops, mentoring and seed money to further develop their entrepreneurial skills

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.