Speakers for Schools
Northern Ireland

Levelling the playing field for the young people of Northern Ireland

We’re here to help young people get the best start to their career journey

Speakers for Schools works with schools, colleges and employers from throughout Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK to provide:

  • Industry insights from leading professionals from every sector
  • Free high-quality immersive work experience
  • Free advice on the post-16 pathways available to young people
young people

130,500

young people from Northern Ireland in potential reach 

169

schools and colleges in Northern Ireland registered with our charity  

24

employers from Northern Ireland registered with our charity

44,826

work experience placements available to young people in Northern Ireland during the academic year 2020-21

Discover how we can help you…

I'm an Employer

How can you help me?

HOST ONLINE WORK EXPERIENCE

Engage with young people from state secondary schools and colleges across Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK by hosting VWEX placements.

  • Meets Education Authority Northern Ireland’s guidelines for best practice
  • Delivers against your ESG, CSR and DEI targets
  • Offers full safeguarding
  • 4 service levels available
  • 3 different varieties of VWEX available
  • Easy to implement and fully scalable
  • Out-of-hours customer support available

Find out more about Education Authority Northern Ireland’s guidance on work experience

BUILD YOUR BRAND AND SOCIAL IMPACT

If your organisation can offer discounts on youth-friendly products and services, OR developmental and/or training opportunities like work experience, Youth Card offers the perfect platform to extend your reach to the youth demographic while also supporting social mobility.

Licensed by the European Youth Card Association, Youth Card is a free mobile app launched by Speakers for Schools together with leading youth charities UK Youth and Young Enterprise that enables young people in Northern Ireland, Wales and England to access support in a way never previously possible.

Becoming a Youth Card partner offers the following benefits:

  • Raises awareness of your brand among 11-25-year-olds
  • Increases your organisation’s social impact
  • Improves outcomes for young people in Northern Ireland, Wales and England
  • Enables targeting by age or geographical location
  • Offers enhanced levels of support for young people with the highest need
  • Draw on the expertise and networks of 3 leading youth charities
  • Improves your organisation’s early talent outreach
  • No cost to your organisation for using Youth Card platform
  • User-friendly CMS makes it easy to list and manage opportunities
  • Reporting functionality allows you to monitor the impact

OUR GROWING NETWORK OF EMPLOYERS IN NORTHERN IRELAND

OFFER ONLINE WORK EXPERIENCE TO YOUR STUDENTS

Help your students start their career journey and connect with employers through our immersive free VWEX.

  • Meets Education Authority Northern Ireland’s guidelines for best practice
  • Offer opportunities with local, national and UK-wide employers
  • Offers full safeguarding
  • 3 different varieties of VWEX available
  • Easy to implement and fully scalable
  • No cost to your school or to your parents

Find out more about Education Authority Northern Ireland’s guidance on work experience

INSPIRE YOUR STUDENTS TO AIM HIGHER

Access talks by hundreds of societal leaders and high-profile professionals to encourage your students to start aiming higher.

Help your students:

  • Listen to talks from expert speakers from the world of business, politics, entertainment, sport and more
  • Hear career insights from leaders in every industry
  • Pick up tips on what it takes to get started
  • Find out what it takes to succeed
  • Invite speakers to give Vtalks to your students

I'm an Educator

How can you help me?

I'm a Young Person

How can you help me?

APPLY FOR ONLINE WORK EXPERIENCE

Try different jobs in real life through free VWEX so you can find the best fit for you.

  • Experience the world of work first-hand
  • Work with employers from Northern Ireland and across the UK
  • Gain an insight into different roles across a wide range of industries
  • Find out about the various career paths available
  • Build on your skills and improve your self-confidence
  • Get evidence of extra-curricular activities for your personal statement or CV
  • Meet senior professionals from leading UK organisations
  • Expand your network to include potential employers

GET INSPIRED TO AIM HIGHER

Listen to inspiring talks from hundreds of societal leaders and high-profile professionals and start aiming higher.

  • Free access to talks from expert speakers from the world of business, politics, entertainment, sport and more
  • Get career insights from leaders in every industry
  • Pick up tips on what it takes to get started
  • Find out what it takes to succeed

GET THE HELP YOU NEED TO GET AHEAD

Access a huge range of life-changing opportunities delivered direct to your phone with our free Youth Card mobile app.

  • Apply for free work experience and insight days with leading UK companies
  • Watch inspiring talks from high-profile guest speakers from a wide range of industries
  • Take part in skill-building workshops and activities to boost your CV and confidence
  • Find a mentor to support your development
  • Join local youth clubs to make friends and develop new hobbies and interests
  • Discover apprenticeships and early career roles with a wide range of employers
  • Access exclusive discounts and money-saving deals

Download the app today

Get in touch

Whether you are a young person, an employer or an educator, our friendly Northern Ireland team can support you.

Meet Jill and Mary, who are your on-ground team in Northern Ireland!

To reach either Jill or Mary email NI@speakersforschools.org

Jill Crawford

Mary Carson

Our Testimonials

“We are excited about growing the potential of the young people of Northern Ireland. Whilst we adapt to COVID-safe working, we must not sacrifice young people’s access to career experiences. We are delighted to partner with Speakers for Schools to equip today's young people with the digital literacy and critical thinking skills that our future economy will so desperately need.”
Gemma Crothers, Social Responsibility Manager, Kainos (Belfast technology organisation)
“GRAHAM is very keen to repeat their Virtual Experience… delighted it was a success; delighted to have been part of it; ready to repeat it all again”
E Murnaghan, Head of Responsible Sustainable Business, Graham Construction
“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Speakers for Schools, together, we are offering over 1,000 virtual work experience opportunities to young people across the UK. By going virtual, Speakers for Schools have connected Kainos to more schools and students. Empowering the next generation with digital skills is so important, and we want to show young people that there are many exciting career pathways open to them.”
Danielle Keenan, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Kainos
“Good to see the breadth there.”
J Green, Regional Director NI, Institution of Civil Engineers
“Great to see a good spread of schools and number registered from across NI.”
A Stevenson, Project Manager, CITB NI
“One of the pupils who completed this placement towards the end of February sent me a message about her son’s experience - 'found it very informative and enjoyable throughout the 3 days. Definitely gave him more of insight into the construction industry and the different roles/jobs available.' Can I also say the administration side of it was much more manageable and the communication between the organisers was very efficient”
C O Kane, Head of Careers, St. Patrick’s College, Maghera
“The list of possible placements is amazing!”
C DONOGHOE, HEAD OF CAREERS, ST. MARY’S GRAMMAR, MAGHERAFELT
“Many young students have been prevented from doing in-person work experience due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but virtual work experience is equally as good. It is very helpful because sometimes you are set on one career path without fully understanding it, and doing work experience can make you realise you are more interested or well suited to a different industry or job.”
Student from NI who did NI Construction Bootcamp
``Extremely informative, there was a lot of knowledge given about the different roles in the career. The experts well presented their careers, more than interesting it was very interactive, which I really loved.``
Student from NI who did VWEX with Graham Construction
``Quite interactive and gave different views of the IT industry. Gave a lot of information on what they do and the business in general.``
Student from NI who did VWEX with All State
``A great chance to get an insight into the company as well as getting demos and tutorials on practical work to complement the theory of what was being taught. Also getting a great insight into exactly how a company like Kainos runs its day to day activities and how it divides its employees into their teams.``
Student from NI who did VWEX with Kainos