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Catalyst announces three headline partners for Generation Innovation

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31st March 2023

Catalyst announces three headline partners for Generation Innovation

Companies demonstrate commitment to the growth of NI by investing in next generation

Technology hub Catalyst has announced EY, Bank of Ireland, and Dawson Andrews as the three headline partners for its Generation Innovation Work Experience Programme 2023.

Generation Innovation is a free work experience programme for those aged 17-18 years old interested in becoming innovators of the future. The programme is designed to empower, enable, and upskill young people for the workplace of tomorrow.

600 young people will take part in Generation Innovation in June.

By choosing to partner with Generation Innovation and investing in the next generation, professional services firm EY, Bank of Ireland, and digital product firm Dawson Andrews are demonstrating their commitment to the growth and development of innovation in Northern Ireland.

The three headline partner companies will help inspire and engage with the youth of Northern Ireland and beyond, while also spotting and shaping potential apprentices and future employees.

During the work experience programme, young people will be paired with well-known companies and then collaborate with a team to solve a real-world issue that company is facing.

At the end of the programme, the teams will pitch their ideas to the senior management of their partner company and their fellow peers.

Ian Edwards, Tax Partner at EY, said: “We are thrilled to support the programme this year as a headline partner and look forward to helping young people to upskill and visualise the breadth of opportunities available to them in the future. We believe that investing in our young people is crucial to the success and growth of Northern Ireland.”

Shirleen McCann, Senior Manager, Community Engagement at Bank of Ireland, said: “Generation Innovation is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get involved and learn new skills in entrepreneurship and innovation. Bank of Ireland UK is delighted to be a headline partner for this year’s event and looks forward to seeing the fresh thinking that young people can bring to business challenges.”

Andrew Fulton, CEO at Dawson Andrews, said: “I previously participated in Generation Innovation and the programme gave me the confidence and skills to enter the world of work and helped steer the decision of what I wanted to do with my career. 11 years on, I am thrilled DA can support Generation Innovation as a headline partner.”

Judith Camblin, Generation Innovation Programme Manager at Catalyst, said: “This year we are excited to welcome our three headline partners, EY, Bank of Ireland, and Dawson Andrews to the programme and are honoured to be supported by such highly commended businesses. Young people will get the opportunity to work alongside these well-known companies, along with many more, to solve a challenge and pitch to them at the end of the programme, an opportunity like no other.”

Since 2018, over 1600 young people from over 130 schools and FE colleges have participated in Generation Innovation’s work experience programme, with 57 companies supporting the initiative.

Alongside three headline partners, Generation Innovation is partnering with 36 Northern Ireland companies for this year’s work experience programme.

Generation Innovation will take place in June across the following locations:

  • 13th-16th June: Derry-Londonderry, The Guildhall
  • 19th-23rd June: Belfast – Catalyst, Queen’s Road
  • 26th-29th June: Dungannon, The Junction

For more information on how to apply for Generation Innovation 2023, visit:

Department for the Economy NI is the principal funder of the Generation Innovation 2023 work experience programme.

Applications close on 31 March 2023.