Youth Worker Kaimahi Taiohi

Youth workers support young people to improve their health, education, training and employment opportunities.

Ara Taiohi, the national body for youth workers and youth work organisations, recommends working towards membership of Korowai Tupu, the professional association for youth workers. 

Youth workers may do some or all of the following:

  • build relationships with young people and their families/whānau and peers
  • establish relationships with communities, schools, training providers and employers
  • provide support, information and resources
  • help young people connect with social services
  • plan, deliver and evaluate programmes and events for young people
  • write reports, prepare funding applications and manage budgets.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for youth workers includes:

  • voluntary work with youth, such as at a youth work agency, or sports coaching
  • work that involves helping people, such as teaching, counselling, social work, community work or church work 
  • work with an iwi or Māori community or social service, or with people from a variety of cultures.

Personal Qualities

Youth workers need to be:

  • good leaders and communicators who can relate to people of all ages and cultures
  • good problem solvers who can remain calm in an emergency
  • honest, ethical and impartial, and able to keep information private
  • energetic and enthusiastic, with a sense of humour
  • able to work well under pressure
  • well organised.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for youth workers includes:

  • voluntary work with youth, such as at a youth work agency, or sports coaching
  • work that involves helping people, such as teaching, counselling, social work, community work or church work 
  • work with an iwi or Māori community or social service, or with people from a variety of cultures.

Subject Recommendations

There are no specific secondary education requirements for this job, but NCEA Level 2 health education, social studies and te reo Māori are useful.

For Year 11 to 13 learners, the Gateway programme is a good way to gain relevant experience and skills.

Youth Workers can earn around $19-$28 per hour per year.

With further training, youth workers may move into social work, counselling or teaching roles.

Youth workers may specialise in working with Māori or other communities.

Youth Worker

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