INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt. committed to strengthening youth work sector

Published: Thu 12 Oct 2006 04:34 PM
Govt. committed to strengthening youth work sector
The government is committed to helping build a strong, well-qualified and professional youth sector workforce, Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has told an inaugural AGM for the nation's youth workers.
"The Labour-led government recognises that there are a number of barriers to the development of the youth work sector, which relate to qualifications, employment conditions, remuneration and recognition of the work that youth workers do," Nanaia Mahuta told the opening of the National Youth Workers Network AGM in Wellington today.
"However, we are working with the sector to address these issues and are committed to building a strong, professional and vibrant workforce. By working together and leveraging off each other’s strengths, we are making substantial progress towards achieving these goals. There have already been big developments since the start of this year, and the Government intends to maintain this momentum.
"For example, this year’s budget allocated $10 million over four years for the government to invest in youth workers and deliver wrap-around services in Auckland’s southern suburbs. This is over and above the funding available to community agencies to provide a range of services, such as the Youth Transition Service, and other training, employment and youth development programmes.
"We are already seeing the benefits of this increased collaboration between the Government and the youth work sector, with the success of initiatives such as the 274 Youth Worker Project in Otara. This is part of a 26-point action Plan to improve outcomes for young people and reduce offending in South Auckland.
"In other developments, the Government is working with the sector to improve professional training opportunities. One idea we’re currently pursuing is ensuring that credits can be transferred between youth work and related qualifications, and that credits previously earned when youth workers study for higher qualifications in youth work or related professions are recognised. The overall profile and status of youth work qualifications will be greatly boosted by this move.
"This government is keen to see youth work acknowledged and recognised as a profession and as an essential part of the nation’s commitment to young people. As such, we will continue to work alongside the sector to help achieve these goals," Nanaia Mahuta said.
Ends

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