TAFE NSW Yass has launched a Diploma of Youth Work for the first time to cater to surging national demand for workers in the youth sector.
According to research by seek.com.au, the demand for youth workers is expected to climb by almost 30 per cent in the next five years.
The diploma, which is currently open for enrolment at TAFE NSW Yass, is targeted at those with experience working with young people and who are keen to build their skills and networks.
TAFE NSW head teacher of community services Ashleigh Ellis urged locals to consider a career in youth work, saying it was richly rewarding and with plenty of opportunity for professional growth.
"To be able to make a difference in a young person's life is a privilege," Ms Ellis said.
"Youth is a challenging time; you're changing and developing fast, and your role in society is changing.
"Today's youth are working in an increasingly complex environment, especially when you throw social media into the mix.
"Young people are trying to work out where they fit in while at the same time being exposed to the superficial parts of a person's life on social media and it can be very difficult."
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one quarter of young people aged 16-24 have a mental health disorder.
Ms Ellis said youth workers supported people aged between 12 and 24 facing welfare, behavioural, developmental, social and protection issues, and worked in youth-specific services, such as refuges, youth centres or mental health programs.
Graduates could secure jobs such as case manager, case worker, youth services coordinator and youth worker, she said.
The Diploma of Youth Work is a 12-month course individually tailored to students' experience level and is delivered online via connected classroom.
TAFE NSW Diploma of Youth Work graduate Mel Sass said a career in youth work offered both diversity and job satisfaction.
"It's a career pathway that can take you anywhere around the country; there's always a need to support young people in regional areas and in the cities," she said.
To find out more about studying youth work at TAFE NSW, phone 13 16 01 or visit www.tafensw.edu.au.
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