Empowering a new generation through youth work

Youth work – how essential is it to the nation and where is it heading?

25 May 2017

Across Australia youth workers provide essential support to children and older youth in need. Whether they need guidance, emotional support, or hands-on help, these passionate professionals are ready to support those just starting out in life.

According to SEEK, the core transferrable skills you need for youth work include:

  • The ability to work independently
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills
  • A high capacity for planning and organisation

Youth work in actionIn 2017 capable and caring youth workers have never been more vital. The Federal Government has cited demand for social work, particularly youth support and family intervention, as growing significantly with job openings predicted to reach up to 50,000 by 2020.

There are currently close to 20,000 businesses and organisations within the broader community services and personal welfare sector in Australia. Within the youth sector this includes groups such as Headspace, Visible Ink or the Brisbane Youth Service. Their services cover mental illness support, housing, counselling, support groups, and much more. Each and every one of these organisations is doing their best to empower and support youth in need.

Youth work in reality

What does it take to have a genuinely positive influence on the lives of young Australians? We spoke with Tristan Hunt, a current TAFE Queensland Diploma of Youth Work student and counsellor.

Tristan hunt is in the youth work industry
Tristan Hunt

“I didn’t have a mentor when I was a kid whom I could turn to. I was looking after myself and already working by the age of 13. I was in my own world. So for me, becoming a youth worker has been about filling that gap in someone else’s life, being that support when they need it.

This why I chose TAFE Queensland. Their structure gave me everything I needed to work in the community. Learning directly from teachers who have been youth workers themselves helped me very much.

They provided insights into what it took to communicate with young people and how to conduct fun and constructive activities for them. And to me, that’s what it’s really about.

I enjoy supporting, guiding and directing young people to discover who they are and fight for what they want from life. Every child, whatever their background, needs that one person who fills them with confidence and certainty.”

There is a lot more to Tristan’s story with his study experience having only just recently finished. His work placements through TAFE Queensland quickly translated into paid employment and a job he loves.

TAFE Queensland has a wide range of courses in community services and youth work available. Visit our website or call 1300 308 233 for more information.

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