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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) with a strand in Whānau, Community and Social Services specialising in Youth Work qualification. It is well-supported and resourced with a team of Apprenticeship Advisors providing pastoral care and support.

The Youth Work apprenticeship programme provides youth workers with a broad understanding of the wider social context in which they work, as well as the skills and attitudes to work alongside and support young people and their family and whānau.

This programme is designed to enable youth workers to have the skills and attitudes needed to support autonomy, identify goals, reduce vulnerability, and build resilience while enabling a young person to achieve their aspirations.

This programme is underpinned by Mana Taiohi and the Code of Ethics for Youth Work in Aotearoa New Zealand.

Learning outcomes:

  • 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 young 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 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.
  • 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 a condition or impairment and situation or issue and applying the new knowledge to the young person they support.

Download qualification brochure

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

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’. 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 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 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 Youth Work, 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

Youth Workers

Relevant for the following sectors
  • Social Services
  • Youth Work
  • 127 Credits
  • 21 months
  • $2000 (inc GST)