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Working in the Youth Work Sector

Youth workers support young people and their whānau by helping them develop quality relationships and build healthy connections. Through guidance on education, training and employment, youth workers support positive youth development.

Careerforce offers nationally recognised qualifications and opportunities for youth worker training. Whether you are new to the sector or want to explore on-the-job training options, Careerforce can help you find a youth work qualification that works for you.

Explore our Qualifications for the Youth Work Sector

The youth work sector can provide a fulfilling career pathway and an opportunity to make a positive impact on the youth in your community. Through Careerforce, you will find a range of qualifications to support the youth work sector’s move towards professionalisation. These include level 3 certificates through to level 6 diplomas.

Support your Youth Work Employees with On-the-Job Training

Careerforce can support you to enhance your workforce’s skills and knowledge through our well resourced, on-the-job training programmes.

A Careerforce Workplace Advisor will work with you to determine which qualifications are right for your workforce. Together, we’ll develop a comprehensive training plan and discuss steps to set up your training. We will also guide you through funding opportunities to support the growth of your employees.

 

I have always wanted to make a
difference in young people’s lives,
especially at the young age from
11 to 18 years old. They often
come from fractured homes and
without role models to guide them.

Philip Nuu | Youth & Cultural Development Senior Youth Worker

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.  Please contact us via info@careerforce.org.nz if you have a question not covered below.

Youth workers support young people and their families by helping them develop quality and meaningful relationships, build healthy connections, and provide them with guidance regarding education, training and employment. You might work in a youth centre, community facility or office, school, church, marae, government agency or you might run camps or sports activities. You can work full time, part time or as a volunteer. The job may involve working shifts, working long or irregular hours or being on call and it may involve local travel to meet the young people you work with.

Entry level roles in youth work may not require any qualifications, but it is likely you will be expected to train on-the-job for the New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 3).

Examples of roles: Youth Worker, Youth Advocate, Youth Facilitator, Youth Leader, Youth Support Worker, Youth Events Co-ordinator, Programme Assistant/Mentor.

Examples of qualifications:
New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 3)
More advanced roles in youth work will benefit from a Level 4 qualification and higher.
Examples of roles: Counsellor, Probation Officer, Youth Pastor/Minister, Youth Justice Worker, Sports co-ordinator.

Examples of qualifications:
New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 4)
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Community Facilitation specialising in Youth Work (Level 4)
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice
New Zealand Diploma in Youth Work (Level 6)

Youth workers needs to be good leaders and communicators who can relate well to a very diverse range of people.  To work in this sector, you should be good problem-solvers who can remain calm in an emergency.   You should be honest, ethical and impartial, and able to keep information private. It is helpful if you are energetic, enthusiastic, and have a sense of humour.

The expected duration for youth work qualifications ranges from 8 months to 24 months.
Since practical experience is extremely important in this industry, on-the-job training is completed alongside work in a youth work environment.

Examples of qualifications and duration:
New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 3) – 8 months
New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 4) – 14 months
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Community Facilitation specialising in Youth Work (Level 4) – 18 months
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice  – 18 – 24 months
New Zealand Diploma in Youth Work (Level 6) – 24 months

Enrolment fees for youth work qualifications range from $230 NZD to $2,000 NZD.

Examples of qualifications and enrolment costs:
New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 3) – $230 NZD
New Zealand Certificate in Youth Work (Level 4) – $390 NZD
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Community Facilitation specialising in Youth Work (Level 4) – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Diploma in Youth Work (Level 6) – POA

The employer typically pays the fees for staff to enrol in these programmes. To enrol in a Careerforce programme, you must be currently employed, and have the support of your employer.

As part of Budget 2020, the New Zealand Government, announced its Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). This fund is designed to encourage and support New Zealanders to undertake vocational education and training in targeted areas. The fund removes costs for a wide range of level 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 programmes for learners, apprentices and employers, through to December 2022.

The youth work sector can provide a fulfilling career pathway and an opportunity to make a positive impact on the youth in your community.  As a youth worker you’ll work alongside young people and look at opportunities to help them build a positive future.  It can be a hugely rewarding career.

There are plenty of career opportunities in youth work.  There are lifelong, rewarding careers in this sector and employers who will support your training and help you to get qualified on the job.

Check out New Zealand job sites such as Jobs for Good, Seek or TradeMe Jobs for entry level job opportunities.  Many employers will support on-the-job training where you’ll have the opportunity to earn as you learn, get practical skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification without taking on a student loan.

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Contact us to see if
Careerforce
can help you with
training in Youth Work