Helping New Zealand build strong communities


Youth Worker Training Scheme Kaupapa Tautoko i ngā Kaimahi Rangatahi

Kaupapa / Purpose
Definition of a youth worker
What we fund
What we do not fund
Funding priorities
Who can apply
How much to apply for
Requesting a grant
When to apply
Accountability requirements

In future, people requesting a grant under the Youth Worker Training Scheme will be able to use a new online system. The new online system replaces Grants Online and the current application form.

Kaupapa / Purpose

The Youth Worker Training Scheme (YWTS) encourages the development of training opportunities for youth workers, to increase the quality of youth work practices in New Zealand.

Definition of a youth worker

In the context of the YWTS, a youth worker is defined as a paid or unpaid person who assists young people to make a successful transition to adult life. A youth worker is concerned with the young person’s total wellbeing rather than one specific aspect, such as sport.

What we fund

YWTS may fund:

  • short-term (one day to three months) courses, conferences, and/or training events that improve youth workers' knowledge and skills
  • short-term (one day to three months) courses which may be a component of a long-term training course, such as a university paper, or polytechnic course module 
  • the national youth work qualifications (workplace assessment) 
  • training for youth workers to gain national standards for youth work called 'Tohu'. 'Tohu' is facilitated by the Youth Workers' Network and is in addition to the workplace assessment arrangements

Costs associated with running a training course or hui are considered on a case-by-case basis and can include:

  • catering 
  • facility hire
  • publicity 
  • registration fees 
  • travel of participants (including to national seminars) 
  • tutors

Costs associated with an individual attending a training course or hui can include:

  • accommodation (for residential courses)
  • course material 
  • fees 
  • food (for residential courses) 
  • travel

What we do not fund

The YWTS does not fund:

  • applications made through organisations that do not employ youth workers 
  • long-term courses of study at universities or polytechnics (e.g. a degree or a diploma) 
  • overseas travel (e.g. to a conference) 
  • retrospective applications for training that has already occurred 
  • supervision 
  • training that does not increase the quality of youth work practices
  • training that promotes religious, political, or commercial objectives, including 
    • commercial enterprises (e.g. private training organisations, or for-profit initiatives)
    • courses with religious content (e.g. religious studies) 
    • employment or business initiatives (e.g. general work-start programmes) 
    • political advocacy projects (e.g. lobbying events for political groups)

Note: applications can be made by religious-based organisations, but not for religious-based training.

The YWTS is for youth workers and is not intended for training providers to deliver youth work training programmes.

Funding priorities

Priority will be given to:

  • courses or seminars that provide certificates of attendance or other recognition of training received 
  • groups or individuals who have limited access to other training funds
  • training events that are open to all youth workers in an area 
  • training programmes that meet the needs of youth workers and their communities

Who can apply

  • Community organisations with legal entity status
  • Groups or sub-committees that come under the umbrella of a community organisation with legal entity status
  • Individuals can apply through their sponsoring organisation

How much to apply for

The YWTS only provides small grants to meet informal training needs of youth workers and their employing agencies.

This year $181,000 is to be distributed nationally. 

Requesting a grant

To request a grant, please contact the nearest regional office of the Department of Internal Affairs. Closing dates for applications vary from region to region.

Final funding decisions are made by the Department of Internal Affairs regional manager on the recommendation of the community development and funding advisor and / or a panel of youth worker representatives.

Central North Island

(including areas covered by Waikato Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council, Gisborne District Council and Taumarunui)

YWTS in the central North Island is administered by a Regional Collective as part of a coordinated regional approach to youth worker training. The Collective oversees delivery of an annual Regional Training Plan that provides a range of training opportunities and access to individual training subsidies.

Information on available training courses and subsidies is available on the Youth Worker Training pages of the Working4Youth website at

Lower North Island region

The YWTS in the Lower North Island region is administered by the Wellington Regional Youth Workers Trust (WRYWT).

The WRYWT represents 15 local areas and over 430 youth workers in the Lower North Island Region.  The trustees are elected by local youth networks.

YWTS information and applications forms are available on their website

Canterbury region

All YWTS funds for Canterbury are allocated to two organisations - the Canterbury Youth Workers' Collective (CYWC), and YMCA South and Mid Canterbury. These two organisations organise and provide training, in Canterbury, for youth workers located in this region.

As all YWTS funds for training in this region go to these two organisations, and as the training they provide is open to all youth workers in this region, there is no additional facility for individual organisations to apply for YWTS funds.

CYWC can be contacted about upcoming training events via its website address of, and YMCA South and Mid Canterbury via its website address of

When to apply

Closing dates for grant requests vary from region to region.  Contact the nearest regional office of the Department of Internal Affairs for further information.

Accountability requirements

Prior to receiving the grant, the recipient must sign a Grant Agreement which includes confirmation about how the grant will be spent.

After the training, recipients are required to complete a certificate of expenditure and a brief evaluation of the training.