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Note: New enrolments from Wednesday 19 October 2022 will go into the updated version of this programme, now titled ‘Careerforce Apprenticeship in Whānau, Community and Social Services specialising in Youth Work’.

Qualification and programme overview

The Youth Work Apprenticeship programme will provide youth workers with a broad understanding of the wider social context in which they work in and provide them with youth work specific skills and knowledge. This programme is designed for those who are already in employment as a youth worker who may be experienced or new to the role.

Careerforce connected and consulted with the youth work sector peak body and other lead youth workers and youth work employers in the development of this programme. The content will continue to be informed by the needs of those being supported and other youth work sector developments.

The Youth Work Apprenticeship enables youth workers to support the young person’s autonomy using tools and strategies to identify goals, address barriers and achieve aspirations.

The programme includes developing the following core competencies:

  • Creating a safe environment for young people.
  • Mentoring and supporting young people to identify goals and action plans.
  • Developing, implementing and evaluating a youth development project.
  • Identifying and practising professional and ethical behaviour.
  • Engaging and communicating with people, family and whānau who are accessing social services in a manner which respects their socio-cultural identity, experiences and self-knowledge.
  • Developing relationships and supporting a goal of improving outcomes for people accessing services.
  • Demonstrating a knowledge of kawa and tikanga and the ability to relate the unique place Māori have as tangata whenua of Aotearoa in their role.
  • Understanding New Zealand’s health and wellbeing challenges and the impact on their role.
  • Displaying self-awareness, reflective practice and personal leadership in the workplace.
  • Actively contributing to a culture of professionalism, safety and quality in the workplace.
  • Gaining an in-depth knowledge of a condition or impairment and situation or issue and applying the new knowledge to the young person they support.


Watch the short video to see why Marlborough Youth Trust invested in upskilling their youth workers


How is this programme delivered?

This Careerforce apprenticeship is a well supported, workplace training programme.  Whilst the learning at this level is self directed, a team of dedicated Apprenticeship Advisors provide pastoral care and support.


How long is the programme?

The programme should take between 18 and 24 months.


What does this programme cost?

Enrolment is this programme is FREE.
* This programme presently has free enrolment via the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF)


Funding to support your business

Employers may also qualify for the Apprenticeship Boost which provides a wage subsidy for new and existing apprentices in their first two years of training, encouraging employers to retain their current apprentices, and to take on new apprentices. Find out more


Visit our Apprenticeship pages to learn more about health and wellbeing apprenticeships.

Learn more about apprenticeships

Frequently Asked Questions

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

The Careerforce apprenticeship programme is for experienced staff. It builds on the technical skills and knowledge that staff already have, to develop their critical thinking, reflective practice and expand their ‘toolkit’. This programme is ideal for experienced youth workers.  Apprentices will need to have the support of their employer to be able to enrol.

Apprentices gain their skills and knowledge through on-job learning. The core value of industry-based training is that it sets people up with the right experiences, skills and knowledge. Apprentices can earn while they learn, gain nationally-recognised qualifications, support more complex health conditions and handle challenging social issues, resulting in better health outcomes for the New Zealand community.

The learning at this level is self-directed and the apprentice will be developing new ideas and new ways of approaching their work. They will be stretched and allowed to explore special interest areas in greater depth, becoming more proactive rather than reactive.

The on-job learning is supported by Careerforce’s Aka Toi online learning platform.

Careerforce Apprenticeships are well-supported and resourced. The Careerforce Apprenticeship Advisor acts as “coach” providing one-on-one support appropriate to the individual apprentice and their needs. The apprentice’s advisor will engage with the employer and others as needed to provide additional learning support and appropriate pastoral care based on the apprentice’s needs. The Advisor could also be the assessor.

The expected duration is between 18 and 24 months.

Currently there are no enrolment fees for the Community Facilitation Apprenticeship (valued at $2,000 NZD).

The employer usually 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 4 programmes including apprenticeships through to December 2022.


To enrol in the Apprenticeship in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) (Social and Community Services) Community Facilitation strand specialising in Youth Work, please call 0800 277 486, email: or speak to your local Careerforce Workplace Advisor

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Level 4

Ideal for

Youth Workers

Relevant for the following sectors
  • Social Services
  • Youth Work
  • 120 Credits
  • 18 - 24 months
  • $2000 (inc GST) FREE ENROLMENT*