I Want to Work In …Youth and Community Work




PROFILE: Youth Worker

INVOLVES: Creating & delivering youth projects to the local community (12 -21 year-olds in particular). Organising activities for groups, & working on a one-to-one basis.
EMPLOYERS: Local authorities; religious organisations; voluntary agencies.
RELATED JOBS: community worker, educational welfare officer, probation officer, social worker, teacher.
SATISFACTIONS: The sense of 'making a difference'. Being involved in the community. Helping people. Using your personal skills and interests, e.g. sports or music, to create projects and relate to clients.
NEGATIVES: Irregular hours (including some weekends). Feeling of betrayal when a client lets you down (i.e. juvenile offender re-offends). Frustration at lack of local support (public + local authority).
SKILLS REQUIRED: spoken communication, cooperating, leading, practical skills.
ADVANCEMENT: Next step is Team Leader, then Area or Specialism Manager.
DEGREE: Any degree subject is acceptable.
POSTGRADUATE STUDY: Postgraduate qualification, e.g. a Masters or Postgraduate Diploma in Youth Work, essential after entry in order to gain promotion.
VACANCY SOURCES: Guardian http://jobs.guardian.co.uk ; Community Care www.community-care.co.uk; www.lgjobs.com; www.jobsgopublic.com
TIPS: Get part-time / voluntary work experience + contact your local Youth Service for advice.
See also the Prospects Occupational Profile www.prospects.ac.uk/links/youthworker


PROFILE: Personal Adviser

This role operates across a range of agencies e.g. Education, Health, Youth Work, Social Welfare and Criminal justice. The support provided may range from basic information, advice and guidance, to vulnerable young people requiring more substantial one to one support.
For more information and www.prospects.ac.uk/links/personaladviser and our Careers and Counselling page


PROFILE: Community Worker

INVOLVES: Aiding & promoting self-help in the community. Working with other community groups, statutory organisations & charities to enhance common understanding & improve the quality of life. Setting up community services & activities.
EMPLOYERS: Local government in the main, but some voluntary sector agencies.
RELATED JOBS: youth worker, race relations worker, social worker, advice worker.
SATISFACTIONS: Getting out & about in the community. Every day is different. Satisfaction gained from a successfully completed project.
NEGATIVES: Attending lots of meetings. Fund raising. Unsocial hours.
SKILLS: communication, tact & diplomacy, negotiation, organising.
ADVANCEMENT: Mobility is often a requirement for promotion. More senior administrative work in local government is a typical next step.
DEGREE: Any degree subject is acceptable, particularly Social Sciences.
POSTGRADUATE STUDY: A Masters degree or postgraduate diploma in Community Work/Community Development is recommended.
VACANCY SOURCES: The Guardian http://jobs.guardian.co.uk; New Statesman www.newstatesman.com; The Big Issue www.bigissue.com; Regional & local press; the ethnic minority press e.g. Asian Times www.asiantimesonline.co.uk; The Voice www.voice-online.co.uk.
TIPS: Experience is much more significant than degree subject. Gain some while still at university through volunteering, involvement in student activities, etc.


Voluntary Work

This is an excellent way of gaining career-related experience in youth work, part-time while studying or full-time during vacations or after graduation. Many full-time “voluntary” opportunities provide board and lodging and pocket money.


Criminal Records Bureau checks 

See our page on this www.kent.ac.uk/careers/cv/JobProblems.htm#CRB

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Last fully updated 2013