Our Youth Centre team facilitate a variety of programmes throughout the year. Feedback from participants across our programmes has shown young people developed new skills, built confidence, discovered new pathways, and the programmes have made young people feel valued and accepted.
Some of our after-school workshops and programmes for young people to learn new skills, discover talents and make new friends include:
- Cooking Foundations
- Barista Foundations
- Radio and Broadcasting
- Video Editing
- DJ Factory
- Game Building
- Social Activities
- Youth Leadership and Event Planning
- And more
Why youth development?
Every youth development programme that we create is designed to help young people reach their full potential.
- We would expect to see an increase in skills and competencies (identified above) during and after the programmes. We evaluate all programmes to identify young peoples progression.
- The skills and competencies gained increase their work readiness and employability skills
- The connections that we have, and that young people gain, helps them navigate systems, access support and opens up doors to help them achieve their goals and aspirations, including educational and employment pathways.
- The wrap around support and mentoring that young people receive increases their wellbeing and resilience of and access to support services.
- The intended long term outcome is that all young people (especially those who are, or who are at risk of becoming NEET, ie Not in Education, Employment, or Training) have clear pathways and the support required to enable them to reach their full potential and be actively engaged in ongoing learning and sustainable employment.
All programmes facilitated by our Youth Workers are underpinned by the principles of the NZ Youth Development Strategy 2002, meaning that our programmes and wrap around services are focused on:
- developing the whole person.
- developing connectedness
- strength based
- developing respectful relationships
- building ownership and empowerment
Youth development is promoted through activities and experiences that help youth develop social, ethical, emotional, physical, and cognitive competencies. Youth development means growing and developing the skills and connections young people need to take part in society and reach their potential and is about young people gaining a:
- sense of contributing something of value to society
- feeling of connectedness to others and to society
- belief that they have choices about their future
- feeling of being positive and comfortable with their own identity.
We evaluate our programme delivery to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our young people.
In particular, our programmes equip young people with employability soft-skills and technical skills as we support them through transitional periods of life, with the aim to enable them to succeed at school, in employment, in the community and in life. Of particular note in recent evaluations was the increase in participants’ confidence noted by both the facilitators and young people across programmes, including 84% of young people stating that they felt more confident as a result of the programme they attended. 80% of participants highlighted that they had made new friends and 64% of young people identified that they had gained new skills and knowledge. Facilitators also identified a noteworthy increase in ‘employability skills’ and engagement in participants’ learning. These results demonstrate the benefits of our programme delivery for the young people and the wider community.
We are extremely proud of the fact that young participants have told us that through our programmes they have gained a boost in confidence, social connection and a knowledge that somebody (a significant adult) believes in them. While we will continue to focus on meeting this need, our evaluated and refined programmes also have a greater focus on raising youth employability skills to equip these rangatahi for future transitions. Each programme is designed to develop these employability skills, and through facilitator assessments and youth feedback we are now able to measure the growth and development of positive attitude, communication skills, team work, thinking skills and problem solving, resilience, self management and leadership.
Evaluation of our programmes has shown that rangatahi engaged in our programmess have developed new skills, built confidence, discovered new pathways, and a sense of value and acceptance.
We have even received feedback from schools about the engagement and attendance of students in school due to the work we are doing through fun creative programmes.
Success is that young people:
- Interact with peers and have a sense of belonging.
- Be themselves and have a strong youth voice
- Have opportunities to discover new things, discover new abilities and succeed
- Explore various roles and identities, promoting self-determination.
- Develop interpersonal skills, including communication, decision-making, assertiveness, and peer refusal skills, and have the ability to create healthy relationships.
- Have significant positive relationships with mentors, positive role models, and other nurturing adults to help and support them through life and transition periods
- Gain a strong sense of belonging and contributing to a purpose, feeling comfortable with others in a safe and non-judgemental way by offering ideas, thoughts and suggestions that will not be put down.
- Engage with peers, whanau, services and the wider community in a safe and supported environment.
- Involve and celebrate success with whanau members by showcasing their mahi
- Are given opportunities to run their own activities and events and record their involvement as a part of their learning and social record
We achieve this success and seek to make a difference through:
- Creating pathways for rangatahi to develop young people’s capabilities (knowledge, skills and attributes) and build resilience to succeed in school, employment, the community and in life
- Providing youth development opportunities through leadership, mentoring, volunteering; and well-being activities and programmes.
- Building social connection, a sense of achievement resulting in confidence, an innate sense of self-belief and worth
- Encouraging youth voice and nurturing self-discovery and expression in society
- Increased access to support and services
- Improved leadership skills
- Increased thinking and problem-solving skills
- Strengthened teamwork and collaboration skills
- Increased learning and engagement
- Strengthened resilience and self esteem
- Heightened confidence and self-belief
- Increased youth empowerment
- Aspirations realised
Developing these skills supports young people to make good decisions, supports them learn and engage, supports them through transition phases within their lives, and actively supports them gain and sustain employment.
International research shows that though engagement in creative programmes in particular, young people not only gain the artistic skills, but our research shows that the benefits for young people (and ultimately our community) including the development of attitudes (e.g. self-discipline, self-efficacy) and behaviours (e.g. more frequent school attendance, reduced dropout rates) that improve school performance; development of more general lifeskills (e.g. understanding the consequences of one’s behaviour, working in teams); and development of pro-social attitudes and behaviours among ‘at risk’ youth (e.g. building social bonds, improving self-image).
Evidence clearly demonstrates that developing social and emotional capabilities supports the achievement of positive life outcomes, including educational attainment, employment and health.