Over the past few years I have had the privilege of educating youth workers in a number of educational facilities throughout Victoria. I see highly passionate people with a clear understanding of the sector that they want to work in. I also know over 50% of them will not be in the sector in two years! As a qualified teacher in the TAFE system I know what the training package says should be taught to youth workers completing a certificate four or diploma course. I also know how lacking the courses are. The average youth work course is not equipping future youth workers to work effectively with young people in the current climate.
One of the biggest issues facing the future of youth work in Australia and throughout the world is lack of education. In Australia over 50% of youth workers have a certificate four (a one year course) or less. There are a large number unqualified people in our sector. Qualifications are a key indicator of intention to stay in the sector and they are an indicator of the level of support a young person can expect.
I know many unqualified people who provide great service to young people and I know they would all be even more exceptional with some qualification. I know many youth workers who have qualified with a one, two or three year qualification who need to get more qualifications. I know PhD holders who need more education. Read a Book. Do a short course. Get a lateral qualification. Educate yourself more! Read a youth work journal. Attend a conference or a webinar. Listen to a podcast. Educate yourself.
It costs money but ignorance will cost you more.