Former X Factor finalist and popular Q Radio host Eoghan Quigg joined Coca‑Cola Hellenic Bottling Company (HBC) and YouthAction NI at another successful #YouthEmpowered skills day held at the YouthAction building in Belfast.

Also, in attendance to hear views from participants were leading education policy leaders; Andrew Bell, head of Youth Policy, Department of Education and Paul Brush, Head of Youth and Early Years Directorate, Department of Education.

Eoghan Quigg is an ambassador for the #YouthEmpowered programme, an initiative that provides free life and business skills through training courses to young people across the island of Ireland. Celebrating its third year, the programme delivers both skill-based live workshops with local employers or the option of interactive eLearning courses, available for free at; www.youthempowered.ie. The programme is designed to support and empower 16 – 25-year olds who are not in education or employment across Ireland and Northern Ireland, with the ambition of engaging 1,000 young people throughout 2019.

I am delighted to be back again at another #YouthEmpowered skills day to share my story. #YouthEmpowered is a programme that I am extremely passionate about and being an ambassador provides the opportunity to relate with and inspire young people Eoghan Quigg, #YouthEmpowered ambassador

"I commend Coca‑Cola HBC and YouthAction NI for their investment in this free training and development programme which will really make a difference to young people across the Island of Ireland who are currently not in education, employment or training. It is giving young people the confidence and support they need to truly fulfil their potential, and I’m really proud to be part of their journey!”

Here at YouthAction Northern Ireland we are proud to be a partner of Coca‑Cola HBC; working together to deliver the #YouthEmpowered programme. So far during 2019 we have delivered a total of 12 live skills days throughout the Island of Ireland, providing young people with both professional and personal skills required for the world of work. Clare Conlon, YouthAction NI

Unemployment can have a real impact on young people’s mental health and overall quality of life. YouthEmpowered skills days are uniquely placed to connect young people with employers and business people. We are extremely proud of the results and positive feedback we’ve received from the participants and look forward to building on the success of our partnership and the #YouthEmpowered programme in 2020’”.

Over 60 employees from Coca‑Cola HBC, along with representatives from other local businesses, have been involved in the programme this year as #YouthEmpowered Youth Coaches; sharing personal experiences about their own journey to meaningful employment, along with career guidance and business insights.

In 2019, we trained 849 young people, with the support of 64 employee volunteers.

For more information on the regional skills days visit www.youthaction.org or register for free online training at www.youthempowered.ie.