Coca-Cola HBC and YouthAction NI partner to empower young people to unlock their potential

Posted By:
Coca-Cola HBC Northern Ireland Ltd

15th Jul 2022

#YouthEmpowered 2022, will support 2,000 young people not in education, employment or training to build confidence, skills and provide practical support to help them secure future employment.

Six new grants launched for YouthAction member groups to support young women’s learning needs.

Coca-Cola HBC joined forces with YouthAction Northern Ireland to launch this years’ #YouthEmpowered programme which will support 2,000 young people from across the island of Ireland into employment or training.

Now in its sixth year, the programme, aimed at primarily at young women and marginalised young people, has reached over 5,500 young people across the island of Ireland to date. The partnership brings together business and the voluntary sector in support of the government’s ambitions to drive economic recovery and support young people in their journey to employment.

#YouthEmpowered 2022, includes regional skills days, a digital hub, train the trainer workshops, funding for YouthAction’s GET SET programme and grants for young women to access education.

This year, there are six new grants available to YouthAction member groups to support young women’s learning needs through training, qualifications, employability skills to support their employment prospects.

Past participants of the scheme shared their experience of how #YouthEmpowered provided them with the tools to develop skills, whilst supporting them in the challenges they faced.

Cori’s Story

Cori first got involved with YouthAction as she lacked confidence and found it difficult to make friends. Today Cori is a fully qualified Technical Theatre Assistant and spoke about how YouthAction helped her on her journey to employment:

“After graduation, I struggled to find a job as I had no paid work experience on my CV, mainly because of Covid. YouthAction gave me the break I needed – through the paid work placement scheme which has led to me securing a full-time job in Technical Theatre – my dream job!”

“My hope now is to support other young people like myself, especially young women the way I was supported by YouthAction – to have hope, aspirations, confidence and to gain the skills and experience so that they can also land their dream job.”

Speaking at the launch of #YouthEmpowered 2022, Coca-Cola HBC Sales Director, Simon Fitzpatrick said:

“Empowering young people to access training and supports to assist their path to employment is a long-term commitment for all of us in Coca-Cola HBC. Over the past 6 years we have invested in excess of £250,000 in youth development. In 2022 we are keen to support those young people, particularly young women, who were significantly impacted by the COVID pandemic.

“As a business we are stepping up to help them in their journey to employment. Our partnership with YouthAction has enabled our team to use their skills and experience to support some fantastic young people through training and mentoring. The funding we have dedicated to the programme will also contribute to further education and learning opportunities, which is key to improving employability.”

Dr Martin McMullan CEO of YouthAction said:

“We are delighted to partner with Coca-Cola HBC as a leading business to give young people access to the tools to help them realise their potential.

“#YouthEmpowered offers some of the most marginalised young people the opportunity to upskill and to access support that can help them plan a pathway to employment, building confidence and ultimately setting them up for a better future.”

Minister for Economy Gordon Lyons gave his support for the scheme;

“I welcome the continued partnership between Coca-Cola HBC and YouthAction NI and the opportunities that this presents for young people and those seeking to improve their opportunities for employment.

“The programme offers a range of focussed and targeted activities to build confidence for young people and to help them build relationships with potential employers.”

For details on any of the initiatives supported by #YouthEmpowed visit the #YouthEmpowered Digital Hub at or contact Youth Action NI.