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Youth workers enjoy working with a variety of young people from different backgrounds and mentoring, tutoring or coaching them in different areas. They may work indoors or in sports and recreation situations.


Youth Workers may do some or all of the following

  • Establish and maintain working relationships with young people, and their families/whānau, peers and communities 
  • Provide support, information and resources to young people 
  • Provide a link between young people and social services, and arrange referrals to the appropriate services 
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate programmes for young people 
  • Train and manage volunteers or other employees 
  • Write reports, prepare applications for funding, and manage budgets.

Youth Workers need to have

  • The ability to work effectively and creatively with young people
  • Problem-solving, advocacy, and management skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Planning and organisational skills

Youth Workers need to have knowledge of

  • Techniques, practices, information and resources that are useful for working with young people
  • Youth culture
  • The communities they work in, including the needs of young people in those communities and social or community services
  • Health and safety e.g. on a sports field
  • Teaching and behavioral management
  • Physical and mental health issues relevant to youth
  • Laws and government policies that affect young people

For youth workers who specialise in working with Māori communities, knowledge of Māori language and culture is essential.


Youth Workers need to be

  • Good leaders
  • Able to work well in teams
  • Able to relate to people from a range of cultures
  • Honest, ethical and impartial
  • Able to keep information private
  • Energetic and enthusiastic, with a sense of humour
  • Able to work well under pressure
  • Able to remain calm in an emergency and react to the situation appropriately.