This website provides details of the Learning and Work Institute’s Young People and Employability Skills project. We hope the project findings will prove useful in your work with young people – and that you will want to replicate the project and its approach.

Youth unemployment has reached record high levels in recent years. We frequently hear that employers think young people are not well prepared for the world of work, leaving many young people feeling demoralised and confused about what employers are actually looking for. This can fuel a perception that young people are not motivated or interested in learning or work.

To help address the challenge, the Learning and Work Institute designed and piloted the Young People and Employability Skills project. 31 unemployed young people received training and support to carry out face-to-face research interviews with 30 local employers. The purpose of the interviews was to identify what an ‘employable young person’ looks like from the perspective of an employer.

By bringing unemployed young people and local employers together, the project supported young people to develop a range of skills and improve their chances of getting a job and progressing in work.  Young people got to hear first hand what skills, qualities and experience are most important to employers when they are recruiting a young person. And employers benefitted too – supporting young people with their job search and perhaps meeting a future employee!

Read this case study about the NOW Group – the first organisation in Northern Ireland to use this approach in their work with young people with a range of learning abilities and needs.



It’s made me a lot more pro-active and a lot more confident with regards to applying for work…it’s made me more confident making that initial contact.

Young person


Project Approach

Find out more about the project, who can benefit from it – and how to replicate it.


Project findings

What do employers consider to be most important when recruiting a young person?


Website for young people

Find out more about what this website offers young people aged 16-25.