25 May 2017
Youth work – how essential is it to the nation and where is it heading? Let’s take a look.
Across Australia,yYouth 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 enrich the lives of those just starting out in life.
The Youth Work Role
According to SEEK, the core transferrable skills for such work include:
- The ability to work independently
- Strong interpersonal and communication skills
- High capacity for planning and organisation
In 2017, such capable and caring people have never been more vital. The Federal Government has cited demand for social work, particularly that focused on youth support and family intervention, is growing significantly with job openings reaching up to 50,000 by 2020.
Youth Worker Perspective
What does it take to have a genuinely positive influence on the lives of young Australians? For added perspective, we spoke with Diploma of Youth Work (CHC50413) student and current counsellor, 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 with TAFE quickly translated into paid employment and a job he loves. We are sure his story is going to continue to be a source of inspiration for the youth he works with and others within his field.
Community and Youth Organisations
There are currently close to 20,000 businesses and organisations within the broader community services and personal welfare sector in Australia. For specific examples within the youth sector, consider groups such as Headspace, Visible Ink or the Brisbane Youth Service. Each and every one of these organisations is doing their best to do exactly what Tristan is speaking of – empowering youth in need.
Their services cover mental illness support, housing, counselling, support groups, and much more.
Eager To Help?
TAFE Queensland has a wide range of courses in the community services and youth workspaces that you can undertake. With the right skills, you too can make great happen in the lives of vulnerable young people.