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Working in the Social Services Sector

Social service workers play a vital role in supporting the community, by providing advice and support to individuals with personal or social problems and their whānau. Social service workers provide support through identifying goals, addressing barriers and achieving aspirations. Most workers in the social services sector are employed by the government or NGOs.

Careerforce qualifications aim to build a strong social service workforce with a variety of learning pathways and on-the-job training opportunities.

Explore our Qualifications for the Social Services Sector


The social services sector is looking for workers dedicated to working with those in their community. If you already work as a social worker, find your learning pathway such as a Certificate in Health and Wellbeing to grow your career.

Careerforce offers training for social services from entry level through to advanced specialist. Browse the related qualifications below to find which health and wellbeing level is right for you.

 

Support your Social Services Workforce with On-the-Job Training

Careerforce can support you to enhance your workforce’s skills and knowledge through our well resourced, on-the-job training programmes.

A Careerforce Workplace Advisor will work with you to determine which qualifications are right for your workforce. Together, we’ll develop a comprehensive training plan and discuss steps to set up your training. We will also guide you through funding opportunities to support the growth of your employees.

 

The skills to be successful in
the role we do is to be
non-judgemental and to
be an open door to anybody
who is experiencing difficulties.

 

Nicola Mason | Happiness House Coordinator

Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers.  Please contact us via info@careerforce.org.nz if you have a question not covered below.

Social service workers provide advice and support to individuals and families with personal or social problems and help with community and social issues. Their role is to provide advice and support to people with personal or social problems and help them build resilience. They might work full or part time. The hours may be long, and they can sometimes be on call or do shift work. They will deal with some challenging and distressed clients, but it can also be very rewarding knowing that they are making a difference. They might work in government agencies and non-profit or voluntary welfare organisations and may need to travel locally to visit the people they support in their homes.

Entry level roles in social services support work may not require any qualifications, but it is likely you will be expected to train on-the-job for a New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4)

Examples of roles: Social Service Worker, Social Justice Advocate, Community Worker

Examples of qualifications:

New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social Services
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Health Work
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Facilitation
Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Peer Support

More advanced roles in Social Services will benefit from a Level 5 qualification and higher.

Examples of roles: Navigator, Family Violence Support Worker, Refuge Worker, Social Worker, Senior Social Worker, Residential Social Worker, Family Worker, Team Leader Social Work Care and Protection, Social Work Crisis Worker.

Examples of qualifications:
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice.

Social Service workers need to be:

  • confident communicators who can relate well to a very diverse range of people.
  • able to assess situations and make careful judgements.
  • good decision-makers, with excellent problem-solving skills.
  • understanding, empathetic and patient.
  • reliable, adaptable and able to cope with stressful situations.
  • able to keep information private and work within a code of ethics

The expected duration for social service work qualifications is in the region of 18 months.

Since practical experience is extremely important in this industry, on-the-job training is completed alongside work in a social service work environment.

New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social Services New Zealand – 18 months
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Health Work – 18 months
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Facilitation – 18 months
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Peer Support – 18 months
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice – 18 – 24 months

Enrolment fees for social service worker qualifications are in the region of $2,000 NZD.

New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Social Services New Zealand – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Health Work New Zealand – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Community Facilitation – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Peer Support – $2,000 NZD
New Zealand Diploma in Health and Wellbeing (Level 5) Applied Practice – $2,000 NZD

The employer typically pays the fees for staff to enrol in these programmes. To enrol in a Careerforce programme, you must be currently employed, and have the support of your employer.

As part of Budget 2020, the New Zealand Government, announced its Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF). This fund is designed to encourage and support New Zealanders to undertake vocational education and training in targeted areas. The fund removes costs for a wide range of level 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 programmes for learners, apprentices and employers, through to December 2022.

The social services sector is looking for people dedicated to working with those in their community.  It’s an opportunity to help the vulnerable in your community and to make a difference to people’s lives.

Social service workers provide advice and support to individuals and families with personal or social problems and help with community and social issues. You might work full or part time. The hours may be long, and you can sometimes be on call or do shift work. You will deal with some challenging and distressed clients, but it’ll also be very rewarding knowing that you’re making a difference.

You might work in government agencies and non-profit or voluntary welfare organisations and may need to travel locally to visit the people you support in their homes.

There are lifelong, rewarding careers in social service support work and employers who will support your training and help you to get qualified on the job.

Check out New Zealand job sites such as Jobs for Good, SeekTradeMe Jobs or Kiwi Health Jobs for entry level job opportunities.  Many employers will support on-the-job training where you’ll have the opportunity to earn as you learn, get practical skills and work towards achieving a nationally recognised qualification without taking on a student loan.

Contact us to see if Careerforce can help you with training in Social Services Support