Youth Work qualification leads to positive change
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 This has since been superseded by the Bachelor of Human Services (Youth Work major) as its leading youth work qualification.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.