Last week saw the official launch of Youthscape Plus, a groundbreaking cross-border initiative aimed at empowering marginalized youth aged 14-24 in the areas of Fermanagh/Omagh, Mid-Ulster, Donegal, Sligo, and Leitrim.

This project is supported by PEACEPLUS, a programme managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) and aims to drive forward a pioneering Cross-Border Good Relations Programme that is dedicated to fostering positive relationships among young people across Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Commenting on the launch of the Youthscape+ project

Department for the Economy Minister Conor Murphy said:

“Building on the success of their PEACE IV funded Youthscape Project, South West College and their partners are continuing to support young people to develop skills to help them progress to the next stage of their journey.

“With high levels of economic inactivity across the North, particularly among our young people, transformational programmes such as Youthscape+ are very welcome. I am delighted to be able to support the important work of the Youthscape+ project as part of the cross-border PEACEPLUS Youth Programme.”

Dept. of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration & Youth Minister Roderic O’Gorman, TD, said:

“I am delighted to welcome the launch of this very positive cross-border initiative, which will build upon the success of the previous Youthscape Plus project. This project will further enhance good relations between young people from different communities on both sides of the border and equip them with the key competencies required to enter employment.

Through a focus on tailored progression activities and employability skills, as well as support for neurodiversity, this project will support marginalised young people in achieving their full potential.

The successful development and launch of Youthscape Plus is testament to the strong collaboration between South West College and their partner organisations and I commend them and the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB) on their work to date.

I would like to take the opportunity to wish the young people every success as they begin this project.”

SEUPB Chief Executive Gina McIntyre said;

“I am delighted to be here today to celebrate the launch of Youthscape Plus. Empowering young people and providing them with the skills and confidence they need to be the agents of change in their own lives and in their communities is vital for building a better future for all.

I am confident that this project will build upon the tremendous success of the previous PEACE IV funded Youthscape project and provide hundreds more young people with the opportunity to realise their full potential.”

Gina McIntyre, CEO of the Special EU Programmes Body, welcomed the project and Celine McCartan, Principal and Chief Executive of South West College, expressed delight in being involved in the Youthscape project, emphasizing its strong focus on youth development and education stating:

“We are thrilled to be part of the Youthscape Plus project, which aligns perfectly with our mission to support youth development and education. This initiative will play a crucial role in bridging gaps between education and employment, providing young people with the skills, confidence, and opportunities they need to succeed in today's dynamic job market. By focusing on core themes, Youthscape Plus will empower our young participants to become influential members of their communities and drive positive change.”

The program centres around core themes of Personal Development, Good Relations, and Citizenship, all of which are key aspects of social development important for creating an inclusive and progressive society. Participants will have the opportunity to become Peace Apprentices and join The Youthscape Youth Forum, which are key mechanisms in empowering them to improve their life circumstances and become influencers in their communities.

South West College is proud to partner with respected organizations such as Donegal Youth Services, Mayo Sligo Leitrim Education and Training Board, Tides Training, and the Cedar Foundation to spearhead this initiative. Together, they aim to bridge gaps between education and employment, empowering young people with the skills and resources needed to succeed in today's dynamic job market.

The Cross-Border Good Relations Programme will offer participants a comprehensive range of initiatives to enhance their employability prospects. Through structured support and practical experiences, up to 1,200 marginalized young people will have the opportunity to further develop their personal development, good relations, active citizenship, and employability skills and be fully supported with progressing into education, training, and employment.

This initiative not only benefits individual participants but also contributes to the broader socio-economic development of the region by strengthening the talent pipeline and fostering a skilled workforce.

The project is supported by the PEACEPLUS Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

For more information about the Cross-Border Good Relations Programme and how to get involved, contact David Taylor at