Young people grapple with rising levels of poverty, crime, unemployment, and climate change. To deal with these challenges, young people need youth workers who will teach them life skills. The present study aimed to explore the life skills that young people learnt in after-school programmes implemented by youth workers and suggest ways that the government could support after-school programmes implemented in youth work practices. A qualitative research approach was adopted to guide the gathering and analysis of the data. Data were collected from a sample of 15 young people between the ages of 14 and 18 who attended after-school programmes in Cape Town and analysed through narrative analysis. The results revealed that after-school programmes implemented by youth workers contribute to the development of life skills of young people, such as exercising self-control. In conclusion, because of after-school programmes, young people learnt skills that helped them to navigate a safer path through life and build resilience. Youth work practices have the potential to help the youth navigate life’s challenges. Therefore, schools need to involve youth workers in implementing life skills development programmes as part of the school governing body to share best practices in developing young people.
Keywords: Life skills development, non-formal education, youth workers, youth work practice.