Youth Work qual­i­fi­ca­tion leads to pos­i­tive change

Auckland City Harbour News - - Focus On Education -

Now is the time to gain a youth work qual­i­fi­ca­tion. That’s the opin­ion of Univer­sity of Auck­land grad­u­ate Sarah McGhee who says that if you do it now, you are lin­ing your­self up for lead­er­ship po­si­tions over the com­ing decade.

“The time is ab­so­lutely ripe for peo­ple to have lead­ing youth work qual­i­fi­ca­tions right now,” she says.

Sarah pro­vides ad­vice and in­for­ma­tion across Auck­land and North­land on youth de­vel­op­ment ini­tia­tives in her role as Re­gional Youth De­vel­op­ment Ad­vi­sor for the Min­istry of Youth De­vel­op­ment.

A pas­sion­ate ad­vo­cate for young peo­ple, Sarah says her qual­i­fi­ca­tion sat­is­fied her need for a spe­cific youth work qual­i­fi­ca­tion while pro­vid­ing a com­pre­hen­sive un­der­stand­ing of is­sues that she deals with eve- ry day.

“Even though I al­ready had 20 years ex­pe­ri­ence in the youth sec­tor, the course was very ap­pli­ca­ble and in­formed me about a range of sub­jects that af­fect young peo­ple, such as tran­si­tion­ing and em­ploy­ment train­ing, and how dif­fer­ent young peo­ple from di­verse back­grounds need dif­fer­ent types of in­ter­ven­tion.”

It’s em­pow­er­ing, she says, to be able use her qual­i­fi­ca­tions and ex­pe­ri­ence to ad­vo­cate for young peo­ple and to in­flu­ence change from a ‘place of knowl­edge’.

“It’s very sat­is­fy­ing when you see a par­tic­u­lar chal­lenge for young peo­ple con­quered. For ex­am­ple young peo­ple are con­tribut­ing more now to plan­ning at a re­gional level, and there are many more youth fo­cused net­works at com­mu­nity level be­cause there is a lot more co­or­di­na­tion among those who work in the field.”

In Sarah’s view the youth work field is grow­ing rapidly and work­ers in this field are now ‘on the map’. A variety of ca­reers are avail­able - from work­ing in coun­selling, sport, youth health, and al­co­hol and drug ed­u­ca­tion to tru­ancy and refugee sup­port. Grad­u­ates are in de­mand to work along­side iwi and in Pa­cific com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment, and for private trusts, schools, ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions and ser­vice providers (eg. IHC, NZCCS, RNZFB).

Sarah com­pleted the Diploma in Youth Stud­ies at The Univer­sity of Auck­land. This has since been su­per­seded by the Bach­e­lor of Hu­man Ser­vices (Youth Work ma­jor) as its lead­ing youth work qual­i­fi­ca­tion. This de­gree pre­pares grad­u­ates to work within a wide range of hu­man ser­vices set­tings, and to take on lead­er­ship roles.

Pas­sion­ate about our youth: Sarah McGhee says the time is peo­ple to gain youth work qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

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