Early School Leavers

Youthreach is the Department of Education and Skill’s official education, training and work experience programme for young people who have left school early. Its aim is to develop the core skills needed for further learning and to prepare young people to progress to further education/training or to employment. In Co Donegal the programme is managed by Donegal ETB. There are six centres across the county in Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Glengad, Gortahork, Letterkenny and Lifford.

Complete Enquiry Form

Who can take part in Youthreach?

The Youthreach programme is for young people aged 16-20 years who have left school early and have obtained little or no qualifications.

What courses are available in Youthreach?

Youthreach offers young people a wide range of learning and training opportunities. A range of national Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI) awards are provided including Levels 1 or 2 General Learning, Level 3 Employability Skills and Level 4 General Learning. Subjects, varying from centre to centre, include art and craft, catering, computers, childcare, hairdressing, health and fitness, literacy, numeracy, office skills, outdoor pursuits, personal development, woodcraft and many more. Work experience is also an important part of the Youthreach programme. Other qualifications include basic food hygiene, ECDL, First Aid and Gaisce Awards.

Centres also provide an extensive health promotion programme covering areas such as positive mental health, sexual health, alcohol and drugs, road safety, citizenship and money management. Fun is also an important part of Youthreach and regular trips and events such as an annual county-wide table quiz, masterchef, pool, bowling and football competitions also take place throughout the year.

What are the progression options after completing Youthreach?

Once you’ve completed a Youthreach programme you can progress to employment or other further education opportunities – our career Advocates will help you on your way.

What will a Youthreach course cost?

There are no costs for participating in a Youthreach programme.

Will I be paid while attending a Youthreach course?

While attending a Youthreach programme you will receive a weekly training allowance (currently €45 per week for those aged 16 and 17 years and €203 per week for those aged 18+ years), a meal allowance and a travel allowance if applicable. Youthreach is a full-time, two year programme.

Speech of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar 27 March 2020 - "With effect from midnight tonight, for a two-week period until Easter Sunday, April 12th, everybody must stay at home in all circumstances, except for the following situations: #covid19ireland

@DonegalYR @QQI_connect @DonegalETB @SOLASFET @ESF_Ireland @DLETBFETDir @AnneMcHugh4 @NAYCEXEC @andrewbrownlee7 @FessIreland @McHughJoeTD @Education_Ire Thank you, but thank your students for adapting to change and to being committed to completing their @QQI_connect modules. They are #futurefocused

@DonegalYR @QQI_connect @DonegalETB @SOLASFET @ESF_Ireland @DLETBFETDir @AnneMcHugh4 @NAYCEXEC @andrewbrownlee7 @FessIreland @McHughJoeTD @Education_Ire This is commitment, this is resilience. This is powerful.

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Youthreach is co-funded by the Government of Ireland, the European Social Fund and the Youth Employment Initiative as part of the ESF Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.


Complete Enquiry Form

You can apply for Youthreach at any time of the year. For further information contact your nearest Youthreach Centre listed below, complete the  Enquiry From above or download this information leaflet

Contact Details 

Youthreach Coordinator   
Paula Burns 
Tel: 071 9851286

Youthreach Coordinator                           
Jayne O’Donnell
Tel: 074 9362626

Ghort an Choirce 
Youthreach Coordinator   
Caitriona Cullen
Tel: 074 9135218

Acting Youthreach Coordinator 
Gillian Kennedy
Tel: 074 9122585

Acting Youthreach Coordinator 
Aidan Callaghan
Tel: 074 9142114