Generation Innovation is a future-focused Work Experience Programme designed to empower, enable, and upskill young people for the workplace of tomorrow. With its foundations grounded in the principles of Design Thinking, Generation Innovation is a one-of-a-kind programme that gives young people a real-world working experience with some of the most innovative companies making a dent in the universe.
This Work Experience Programme is for all 17-18-year-olds interested in accelerating their career development, gaining awareness of the skills needed for tomorrow’s world, and building an innovation mindset through Design Thinking training.
During the programme, students will be paired with innovative employers, such as Coca-Cola, FinTru or EY, and will learn how to work as part of a new team. Their skills will be put to the test to solve a real-life company challenge, developing a solution before pitching it to the partner company and fellow peers.
Thank you to the Department for the Economy for supporting Generation Innovation.
The 2023 programme will involve 600 students this June for 3 in-person events.
13th – 16th June | Derry-Londonderry, The Guildhall
19th – 23rd June | Belfast, Catalyst, Queen’s Road
26th – 29th June | Dungannon, The Junction
Applications for the 2023 Work Experience Programme are now closed.
Anyone aged 17-18 years old.
Nothing – it’s free to attend!
31st March 2023
Benefits of attending
Work with some of Northern Ireland's most exciting and innovative companies
Receive free limited edition apparel merchandise and win extra prizes
Free to attend
Access to the Generation Innovation Alumni network
Have fun and meet other young people
Accelerate your development by learning about exciting future career prospects
Receive training from expert facilitators
Learn in a fun, energetic, and highly engaging way that'll inspire and empower you for the future
Skills you'll gain
Build Emotional Resilience
Learn Problem-Solving Skills
Presentation and Pitching Skills
Design-led Thinking Skills
Our workshops are open to all 16-18-year-old groups (5th-U6th years), completely free of charge.
All we ask from you is that your classroom or assembly hall is set up with tables and chairs and that we have access to a projector – it’s that easy!
Please note that workshops are limited and so we advise you to book ahead of time. Workshops will only be delivered to a minimum of 20 students.
This year, we have expanded our offering to give you the option between two workshops:
This workshop will lay the foundations of the Design Thinking Approach, and will cover areas such as:
Fuel ambition, spark ideas and empower your students through design thinking.
A one-day, fully immersive design thinking experience for groups of 90+ students aged 16-18-years-old (5th-U6th years) held onsite at your venue. No need to mobilise, we’ll come to you and take your students on a design thinking journey that will lead them from identifying a problem, working through several stages to iterate and design a prototype/solution all in the one day.
On this journey, your students will learn important skills at each stage, including user-centred design, working in a team and critical thinking. The impact day will also help foster soft skills such as empathy, emotional intelligence, and resilience.
Our team of design thinking trainers will come to your venue and will deliver a design sprint, working through several stages of the design thinking methodology. During the design sprint, there will be creative icebreakers and fun games to stimulate ideas and keep the energy alive.
Understanding the user base and ‘consumer’, how they interact with the world/system or product, and understanding their needs and behaviours.
Together each team will work together to define a problem and then design solution for it. This could even be applied to improving something within your everyday life, asking the question ‘How might we…?
Our team will work with your students in different groups and walk them through an ideation phase where they can start to design and develop a solution for the defined problem. Here, students will contribute ideas, challenge assumptions, and work together as a team to develop a solution.
At the end of the day each team will present their solution to the group in a very welcoming and engaging environment.
We will finish the day with a visit from a number of our partner companies who will demonstrate some innovative technology and share their own start-up journey. Students will become part of the Generation Innovation community and will be given branded merchandise to remember the experience alongside resources to continue their journey.
Absolutely nothing, this is a fully funded programme with no cost to you; all we need is a dedicated space and time to deliver the Impact Day.
Could your company empower the next generation of innovators? Do you want to spot and shape NI’s talent for the future workplace?
If you would like to find out how to get involved with any elements of Generation Innovation, simply register your interest below or sign up to the Generation Innovation mailing list and a member of the team will be in touch.
Programme Manager - Youth and Ambition
GI Project Administrator
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