Youth workers guide and support young people aged 11 to 25. They organise activities to help with personal and social development.
1. Entry requirements
- a youth work qualification recognised by the National Youth Agency (NYA)
- experience working with young people – you could get this by volunteering
- to pass a background check by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.
2. Skills required
- excellent communication and listening skills
- the ability to inspire, motivate and gain trust
- organisational and planning skills
- the ability to keep to boundaries with clients
3. What you'll do
You may work for a local authority's youth services team, youth offending team, community groups or voluntary youth organisations.
If you work as a 'detached youth worker', you’ll be making contact with young people on the streets and in parks and shopping centres.
Your day-to-day tasks will include:
- organising sports, arts, education and drama activities
- counselling, coaching and mentoring
- working with young carers or those at risk of offending
- assessing needs and running projects that deal with issues like health, bullying, crime or drugs
- managing volunteers and part-time workers
- keeping confidential records
- controlling budgets and applying for grants and funding
- working with social workers, teachers, probation officers and the police
Highly Experienced: £37,500 (manager)
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environment
You'll work around 37 hours a week, including some evenings and weekends.
You could be based at a school, youth club, community centre, or faith centre like a church or mosque.
As a detached youth worker, you'll need to travel to meet young people anywhere in your local area.
The work can be emotionally demanding.
6. Career path and progression
With experience, you could take on a more specialist role in an area like mental health. You could also become a team leader or manager.
Other options are to gain further qualifications and move into social work, teaching, community development or counselling.
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Last updated: 13 April 2017