The Skills of a Youth Facilitator

Understand the five main functions of a strong youth facilitator in order to take your Youth Ambassador Group to the next level!

The five main qualities of a youth facilitator

The European Portfolio for Youth Leaders and Youth Workers1 identifies five main ‘functions’ of a ‘youth facilitator’. The skills identified are integral to setting up, running and maintaining an active Youth Ambassador Group. Think about how these skills enable young people to learn about and take action on global issues and ensure this becomes part of the culture of your Group. Remember all actions; local, national and global, are all important in creating a more equitable world.

The quotes included on this page illustrate many of the ‘Functions’ in action and are from SFYouth Youth Ambassador Groups across Europe.

Please note, all of the points listed under the five ‘Functions’ below, come directly from Page 22 of the European Portfolio referenced above.

1. Function: To empower young people

The facilitator is able to:

  1. enable young people to participate through developing collective action and learning
  2. involve young people in planning, delivery and evaluation of activities
  3. enable young people to work towards their goals
  4. help the development of the confidence, knowledge, critical thinking, skills and understanding of young people
  5. get in touch with young people on an emotional level
  6. widen their awareness of the concepts of power and change

2. Function: To develop relevant learning opportunities

The facilitator is able to:

  1. target individuals and groups
  2. provide young people with appropriate guidance and feedback
  3. take advantage of spontaneous learning and development opportunities in everyday situations
  4. identify any special learning needs
  5. use a range of educational methods and techniques
  6. stimulate the creativity of young people.

3. Function: To accompany young people in their intercultural learning process

The facilitator is able to:

  1. facilitate young people’s recognition of their cultural background, values and behaviour
  2. promote active tolerance and interaction with people from other cultures at home and abroad
  3. work creatively with conflict towards peaceful solutions
  4. assist young people to define their place in a changing world.

4. Function: To contribute to organisational and youth policy development

The facilitator is able to:

  1. find resources and manage them
  2. manage others and work effectively in teams
  3. work for change and development within organisations
  4. cooperate with others to shape youth policy.

5. Function: To use evaluative practice

The facilitator is able to:

  1. plan and apply a range of participative methods of evaluation
  2. use appropriate information technology tools when necessary
  3. demonstrate skills in report writing and presentation for a variety of audiences
  4. research and use results to influence practice.

If you’re interested in learning more, and to assess the development of young people’s competences, take the surveys on pages 25, 26, 27 and 29 of the European Portfolio for Youth Leaders.

1The European Portfolio for Youth Leaders and Youth Workers can be accessed here.