STRYVE is an inclusive innovation programme for young people aged 16-25 in Belfast and Derry~Londonderry. Young people will gain skills, qualifications, and experience in creative & digital media, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and will have the opportunity to participate in a paid work placement.
Funded by the International Fund for Ireland and delivered in partnership with the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, Catalyst will lead a consortium supporting young people to develop their skills, innovative thinking, and creative solutions, and remove barriers to employment and entrepreneurial pathways.
The 2-year partnership is led by a strategic reference group including the Rio Ferdinand Foundation, Department of Justice, Department for the Economy, Belfast City Council, Derry City and Strabane District Council, the Education Authority, International Fund for Ireland, Rural Action and multiple youth organisations across Belfast and Derry~Londonderry.
This collaborative project is for young people aged 16-25 years seeking to gain skills, qualifications, and experience that will provide them with a pathway towards employment.
OCN Level 2 qualifications in creative & digital media, leadership & internet safety
Innovation skills and entrepreneurship training (12 sessions)
Work placement (2 days per week paid placement for 12 weeks)
This project will also be developed and designed in collaboration with youth workers and we will provide a youth leader development programme alongside the work with young people. This is to equip and enable youth workers with the tools to support their young people through the project.
Cohort 2 will take place from February ’24 – October ’24 and we have space for 23 participants.
Young people have improved awareness of self, others and respect for diversity
Young people have improved social and emotional capabilities (communication, confidence & leadership, managing feelings, resilience and determination)
16-25-year-olds who are vulnerable to polarisation and come from complex backgrounds including those who:-
Are vulnerable to paramilitary recruitment
Been in, or close to, the criminal justice system
Left education with no or low qualifications or who left the education system early
Have been involved or are currently involved in substance abuse
Are affected by homelessness
Come from a difficult family background or community with a negative view of their future
Suffered from poor mental health issues
Mistrust of statutory institutions.
Forward-thinking businesses that understand and are empathetic to the needs of our young people.
Innovation-driven enterprises seeking to build their workforce via non-traditional means (University degrees)
Businesses who embrace, on-the-job learning, apprenticeships and internships with the potential for full-time employment
Businesses that are empathetic to the needs of our young people.
If you are interested in learning more about our project and how your company might support offering a 3-month paid placement to applicants, please register your interest for more information.
Director of Strategic Business Development
Adrian Johnston joined Catalyst in January 2022 as Director of Strategic Business Development. Prior to this he was Head of Digital Catapult NI supporting businesses and the public sector to adopt emerging digital technologies. He also has 20 years technology leadership experience having previously worked for Seagate Technology in their Springtown facility heading the Data Science and Analytics team.
Adrian holds a PhD in Informatics / AI and is a member of the Open Data Institute. He leads the Open Innovation Team at Catalyst which stimulates research collaborations and provides companies with the support, expertise and community to innovate.
In 2019 Adrian was awarded the Ulster University Graduate of the year and received an MBE for services to peace-building and the community in NI. Adrian is passionate about Inclusive Innovation and is the current Chair of the Community Foundation for NI.
Programme Manager - Youth and Ambition
Judith is the programme manager for Youth and Ambition within Catalyst. She designs and delivers the Generation Innovation programme and our Inclusive Innovation Programme. Through these programmes Judith gets to inspire, equip and encourage young people across NI to gain the skills they need that will set them up for a successful future.
Judith has worked with young people in a variety of settings over the past 12 years and her passion is seeing young people thrive, grow in confidence and supporting them to make their best next step in life!
Project Coordinator - Generation Innovation
Mark is the Project Coordinator supporting the Generation Innovation team. He supports the team in all of their events, mainly in its workshops, Impact Days and Work Experience events.
He also a member of Catalyst’s Inclusive Innovation team supporting young people, youth workers and events.
Mark has over 10 years of working with young people. He has a degree in Youth Work and Practical Theology. Mark loves working along side young people and seeing them being released into their true potential.
Project Administrator - Open Innovation
Project Administrator - Open Innovation
Emma is the Project Administrator in the Open Innovation team at Catalyst.
Currently Emma is working on the Inclusive Innovation Skills Programme designed to help young people develop life skills to fulfil their potential.
Emma studied at St Mary’s University College Belfast where she earned a BA degree in Business Studies. She is passionate about inspiring young people to fulfil their potential and has various certificates on mental health and wellbeing in young people including a life coaching and mindfulness Diploma.
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