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Youth and Community Worker Profile

Introduction

This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working as a Youth and Community Worker. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work as a Youth and Community Worker
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Youth and Community Worker Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

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Working Duties Expected

Youth and community workers (community education workers in Scotland) encourage the social, personal and educational development of people. Youth workers work mainly with the young while community workers work with other groups. In Scotland, community education workers are also responsible for adult education.

Many youth workers work in a club or centre organising sports, drama, educational and other activities to provide informal guidance to young people. Projects may be concerned with health education, study support, young offenders, youth volunteering, community regeneration or homelessness. Some workers offer group discussions or individual counselling. There may be managerial and administrative duties, and there is contact with other agencies and professionals such as the police, social workers, teachers and probation officers.

Some youth workers are known as detached workers, meeting young people in places they frequent such as cafes, shopping centres and on the street to offer advice and help; others, provide mobile services, perhaps using converted buses in rural areas and places with poor transport links.

Community workers ensure access to opportunities for all community members, and work with community associations, tenants groups, neighbourhood projects and others to identify problems and work towards a solution. This might include housing improvement, work with parents worried about drug abuse, or work with homeless people.

Hours and Environment

Full-time youth and community workers usually work a 35 to 37-hour week. Most jobs involve evening and weekend work. Part-time work is common.

Work is available in youth clubs, community centres, schools, further education colleges, Connexions centres or neighbourhood offices. Most jobs involve local travel.

Skills and Interests

To be a youth and community worker, you should:

  • be able to establish good relationships and earn the trust of others
  • be able to communicate with a wide range of people
  • have good listening skills
  • be emotionally mature and sensitive yet resilient
  • have interests or skills in areas such as health, sports, arts and technology
  • have initiative and enthusiasm to set up and maintain projects
  • have good organising, planning and administrative skills
  • be committed to equal opportunities.

Entry

Full-time youth and community workers normally need to have completed professional training. Entry requirements vary, but applicants under 21 may need GCSEs (A-C)/S grades (1-3) and A levels/H grades or equivalent qualifications. Relevant experience is usually required for entry to courses.

Part-time and voluntary youth and community workers may not need academic qualifications.

England, Wales and Northern Ireland
Most professional youth and community workers have a qualification validated by the National Youth Agency (NYA), the Wales Youth Agency or the Youth Council for Northern Ireland. Courses leading to these qualifications include diplomas of higher education (DipHE), degrees and postgraduate awards.

There are also part-time employment-based training routes leading to a DipHE, with the option of further part-time study for a degree. Some institutions offer distance learning courses.

Scotland
In Scotland, qualified community education workers must take courses that are endorsed by the Community Education Validation and Endorsement Unit (CeVe) of Communities Scotland.

Degree courses in community education are available at Edinburgh, Strathclyde and Dundee universities. The Bachelor of Community Education and Community Development is available at Glasgow University, and via a work-based route through the Linked Work Training Trust Central. Each university has options for part-time or work-based routes. There are postgraduate courses available for those with a degree and relevant experience.

All entrants must provide information about criminal records, even those normally considered spent. A criminal record does not automatically prevent entry to the career.

For details of qualification equivalents see:

Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
Scottish Qualifications Authority
An Access to Higher Education qualification may also be accepted for entry to certain courses. If experienced in a related field, you may be able to gain recognition of skills through Accredited Prior Learning (APL). Please check with colleges or universities for exact entry requirements.

Most entrants are adults with relevant experience. Mature, experienced candidates applying for professional training courses may not need academic qualifications, particularly if they have completed a relevant Access course or taken part in local training courses.

In Wales, the Coherent Route has been developed for mature students to allow local, part-time study. Students complete individual modules which eventually build up to the DipHE.

Training

Awarding Bodies Consortium (ABC) and City & Guilds offer Related Vocational Qualifications (RVQs)/NVQs at levels 2 and 3.

New qualifications and training routes are being developed. These include NVQs in Youth Work at levels 2 and 3, with an NVQ Level 4 in Youth Work under consideration.

In community work many organisations offer short courses; there are also NVQs/SVQs in Community Work at levels 2 to 4.

Part-time and voluntary youth workers usually do basic introductory training, supplemented by in-service courses on particular aspects of youth work.

All staff are required to undertake child protection training.

Opportunities

Youth and community workers are employed by a range of organisations including local authorities, the Connexions Service, youth offending teams, voluntary organisations such as the YMCA or Barnardos, local community organisations and government-funded projects and initiatives.

Prospects for promotion are good; there may be opportunities to move into managerial or specialist posts, for example with young offenders

In England, some youth workers take further training to become personal advisers for the Connexions Service. For further information see Personal Adviser (Connexions) profile.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only.

Qualified youth and community workers salaries start at around £14,000.
Experienced staff earn around £20,000.
Senior workers can earn £28,000.

Further information

National Youth Agency
17-23 Albion Street
Leicester
LE1 6GD
Tel: 0116 285 3700
www.nya.org.uk

Communities Scotland
CeVe Unit
Thistle House
91 Haymarket Terrace
Edinburgh
EH12 5HE
Tel: 0131 313 0044
www.communitiesscotland.gov.uk

Wales Youth Agency
Leslie Court
Lôn y Llyn
Caerphilly
CF83 1BQ
Tel: 02920 855700
www.wya.org.uk

Youth Council for Northern Ireland
Forestview
Purdys Lane
Belfast
BT8 7AR
Tel: 028 9064 3882
www.youthcouncil-ni.org.uk

PAULO: the National Training Organisation for Community-based Learning and Development *
4th Floor
Kimberley House
47 Vaughan Way
Leicester
LE1 4SG
Tel: 0116 251 7979
www.paulo.org.uk

* PLEASE NOTE
National Training Organisations (NTOs) ceased to be recognised by the government on 31 March 2002. However, some are continuing to operate in their respective fields. Please contact individual NTOs with queries regarding their current status.

The Secretary of State for Education and Skills is licensing new Sector Skills Councils - charged with boosting skills and productivity in business sectors. For information about Sector Skills Councils, their roles and responsibilities, please visit the Sector Skills Development Agency website: www.ssda.org.uk

Other Useful Youth and Community Worker Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Youth and Community Worker job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Youth and Community Worker Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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