Certificate IV in Youth Work
Expanding knowledge and being prepared to face the challenges that come with being a youth worker is what led Ms Vineta Pisia to undertake studies at the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC).
Ms Pisia, from Samoa, was unable to finish her university education due to financial constraints. However, that has not stopped her from pursuing her goals and dreams in life.
She spent some time working at a supermarket, holding roles from a packer to a checkout assistant, to being part of the floor team, before joining the Samoa Shipping Corporation (SSC) as a cashier in 2011.
That same year, Ms Pisia served as a youth volunteer at one of the non-governmental organisations in Samoa as an unpaid voluntary worker, and then she decided to leave her employment at SSC in pursuit of her passion full-time.
In 2013, she was recruited as a paid youth worker to carry out admin and accounts tasks in the same organisation and since then she has not looked back.
It is now 5 years since Ms Pisia has been working as a youth worker.
Ms Pisia graduated with a Certificate IV in Youth Work from APTC in 2014.
“When I started, I was apprehensive about moving away from the comfort of my family and friends. It was worth the time away from family,” she says.
“The support from trainers and tutors to students whose studies are affected by personal problems or an intense workload is fantastic, as the teaching staff are very understanding, while the quality of the information they provide to feed our brain academically has really helped us to grow personally and professionally,” she adds.
Ms Pisia admits what she likes most about the APTC training is that the qualifications are recognised internationally.
“Studying youth work has provided me with a lot of skills that I did not have. Through the training I was able to learn how to write a proposal and how to convince donors to grant the funding that is suitable for projects that I wanted to implement,” she shares.
After obtaining an APTC qualification, Ms Pisia highlights she was promoted to lead the youth team.
“I developed a broad set of knowledge from APTC, including how to deal and approach youth with problems, understanding the role of being a leader that would be able to help and play a vital role in developing youth, learn vital life skills, develop knowledge and human rights, promote civic action in our home communities,” she says.
Ms Pisia says being a youth worker in Samoa is challenging but rewarding.
“A lot of our youth are living in poverty, unemployment, living with violence at home and deal with critical issues that are not even recognised. These are the issues that happened within families, villages, churches, communities and all over our island, that I wanted to address and provide the best help that I could do to support and engage with them.”
Ms Pisia’s APTC training has also opened doors for her to undertake higher education. She has received a scholarship to study a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work at the Waikato University in New Zealand and credits her APTC qualification has helped create this pathway for her.
“My APTC qualification has contributed in earning the chance to study abroad because of the standards and the quality of the qualification, of the education that APTC provided and the fact that it is reconigsed internationally.”
Ms Pisia highlights that her future plan is to graduate with a Degree in Social Work and strongly believes her APTC training will help her achieve it.
“Thank you APTC for the opportunity to build our capacity and feeding our brain academically to grow personally and professionally,” she adds.