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Programme overview

This apprenticeship programme leads to the awarding of the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) (Social and Community Services) Mental Health and Addiction Support strand qualification. It is well-supported and resourced with a team of Apprenticeship Advisors providing pastoral care and support.

The Mental Health and Addiction Support apprenticeship programme enables apprentices to develop and demonstrate the skills they need to work alongside people, and their family and whānau who are accessing social and community services, to support autonomy, foster hope and develop resilience. The underpinning philosophy of this programme is to build a person-centred, critical thinking workforce.

Learning outcomes:

  • Engaging and communicating with people, family and whānau who are accessing mental health and addiction 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 with mental health and addiction issues.
  • Demonstrating knowledge of Te Tiriti o Waitangi when providing support in their role.
  • Understanding New Zealand’s health and wellbeing aims and purpose and the impact on their role.
  • 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.
  • Applying physical first aid while supporting people in their role.
  • Displaying self-awareness, reflective practice, self-care, and personal leadership in the workplace.
  • Actively contributing to a culture of professionalism, safety, and quality in the workplace.
  • Gaining in-depth knowledge of mental health, addiction and co-existing conditions, their impacts, and applying the new knowledge to the people they support.
  • Applying advocacy plans for the people they support.

Download qualification brochure

Watch the short video to see why Tracy loves her role and her apprenticeship learning journey.

Funding to support your business

Several grants and funding options are available to help meet the costs of attaining Careerforce qualifications. 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.

You can view these options at 

Learn more about Careerforce 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’. Apprentices need to be employed in a mental health and addiction support service and 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 vocational 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 for Mental Health and Addiction Support apprenticeship is 21 months.

The enrolment fee for this Level 4 apprenticeship is $2,000 (inc GST) 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.

You may be eligible for Fees Free training. To find out more and to learn how to check your eligibility, see our Fees Free page.


To enrol in the Apprenticeship in Mental Health and Addiction Support, please complete an expression of interest form or you can call 0800 277 486, email: or speak to your local Careerforce Workplace Advisor

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Level 4

Ideal for

  • Mental Health Support Workers
  • Addiction Support Workers
  • Psychiatric Assistants
  • Peer Support Workers
  • Navigators
  • Drug Treatment Support Workers
  • Addiction Programme Facilitators
  • Day Programme Facilitators
  • Caregivers
  • Residential Support Workers
Relevant for the following sectors
  • Healthcare Services
  • Mental Health & Addiction Support
  • 128 Credits
  • 21 months
  • $2000 (inc GST)

It’s the most amazing feeling
when you make a positive
difference in someone’s life.
I am forever humbled by my work.

Tracie Currie - Mental Health and Addiction Support Worker