Business news

Generation innovation launches to inspire innovators of the future

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13th Feb 2024

Focused on fostering the equal opportunity for all within innovation and education, Catalyst has today launched its free work experience programme, Generation Innovation, for 17–18-year-olds across Northern Ireland.


First launched in 2018 and funded by the Department of Economy, the one-of-a-kind work experience programme is designed to empower, enable, and upskill young people for the workplace of tomorrow by pairing them with household business names such as Bank of Ireland, EY, Aveva, Allstate and PwC.


With its foundations grounded in the principles of Design Thinking, Generation Innovation gives young people a real-world working experience with some of the most innovative companies making a dent in the universe.


The work experience week has welcomed over 1786 young people from over 151 schools and FE colleges, with 89 partnering companies supporting the initiative, since it launched in 2018.


Throughout the 4-5 day programme, participants will collaboratively work to develop a solution for a real-world business problem, before pitching an innovative solution to the partner company and fellow participants at the end.


Ally Armstrong, Generation Innovation Programme Manager at Catalyst, said: “This work experience programme is a unique opportunity for young people to challenge their mind in a new way and start building an innovation mindset. I would encourage anyone interested, regardless of background to apply to this programme if they have an interest in innovation, and gaining a real working experience with some of the most exciting companies in NI right now.”


Floren Curato, a previous Generation Innovation participant, said: “Generation Innovation was one of the most valuable work experience programmes I’ve taken part in. I was surrounded by like-minded people where we were able to explore different avenues and ways of working which will be so valuable to me in the future.”


Alongside upskilling and working with innovative companies, participants will receive free Generation Innovation merchandise and gain access to the Generation Innovation alumni network.


700 young people will take part in Generation Innovation in June across the following locations:

  • 11 – 14  June: Derry-Londonderry, Millennium Forum
  • 17 – 21  June: Belfast – Catalyst, Queen’s Road
  • 24 – 27 June: Dungannon, The Junction

For more information on how to apply for Generation Innovation 2024, please visit:


Applications close on 19 March 2024.


Catalyst is an independent, non-profit science and technology hub focused on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in Northern Ireland.