Limited Service Volunteer (LSV)

Get a fresh start and the tools to get a job with the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) course.

Information

"If you want to improve your life, be more motivated and find a job, then LSV is one of the best courses you can do."

Jacob, 2018 LSV graduate

About LSV

2 guys hanging off a wooden bar on a ropes course

LSV is a voluntary and free 6-week training course. It's run by New Zealand Defence Force and supported by people wanting to work with you, including Police.

You'll live on an army base which will be in either:

  • Auckland (Whenuapai)
  • Wellington (Trentham), or
  • Christchurch (Burnham).

In most cases, you'll go to the base closest to where you live but this isn't guaranteed.

You'll meet new people and take part in a range of activities to:

  • increase your confidence
  • earn NZQA credits
  • learn new skills
  • get fit and healthy
  • be proud of yourself.

We'll support you before, during and after graduating from the course.

Watch these videos to see what it's like to take part in LSV

View transcript of 'Trainees talking about the Limited Service Volunteer LSV course' video

Stand at ease!

One!

Trainee Hiroki: If I can just do my best for this small portion of my life, I could probably change my whole life.

Move!

It’s probably the greatest second chance I've ever been given, coming to LSV.

Trainee Ben: I'm really grateful that I decided to take this course. Taking big challenges that I never thought I could achieve. It changed me, a lot.

Trainee Barcham: before this course I've been waking up, like three, four PM. I'm hoping to get a routine from this. Just get up, get out and do things.

Trainee Tiata: I want to change my life. Just make everyone proud, especially my mum. I thought I would give up at some point, but I actually pushed myself, and tried to remind myself who I'm doing this for.

Trainee Tariu: I'm happy, proud of myself and how far I came, 'cause I'm leading my team

Trainee Reid: I've learnt that my mind's a loit stronger than I realise, and that's the cool thing about here, they push forward the positive.

Trainee Cassidy: As a platoon and for myself, we've grown to be pretty good 2.0 versions of ourselves.

Trainee Owens: You make good friends with people, that you wouldn't have thought you would have. Teamwork's probably the most essential part of this course, and that's something I can take into any area of my life.

Trainee Hiroki: It's not about your weaknesses, it's about your strengths.

Chanting: LSV, LSV, LSV!

www.workandincome.govt.nz/LSV

View transcript of 'Staff talking about the Limited Service Volunteer LSV course' video

I think from a trainee's perspective, coming in, it can be quite overwhelming.

But, once you get used to the routine, you'll honestly love the course.

We always say the first two weeks is the hardest, but if you're here at LSV you're pushed outside of your comfort zone. And when you're outside of your comfort zone you grow as a person, and it shows you what you're able to do as well.

I thought this was like a six-week bootcamp but it's not like that at all. It's getting them ready for a job, making them employment ready.

We're military and you have come to us to learn. We need to hold you accountable for your actions, and at all times hold you to the standard that we expect of ourselves.

It is challenging. But that's the whole point of it, is to get people outside of their comfort zone so the real work can happen.

We try to push them to create new limits in their lives.

The job opportunities that the trainees have available to them post-course, theyre a whole lot bigger than what they were prior. The skills and attributes that they've developed - things like work ethic, being on time, and being prepared to do any sort of task that they are given - they can actually show the employers that they are capable.

That's what this course does. It not only gets you out of your shell a bit, it makes you accept you for who you are, and also others. And it gives you those skills so that you can go out, back into your everyday life and be independent.

The significance of the graduation parade is huge for the trainees. It's the culmination of all of the successes, all of the hardships, all of the experiences that they've had to bond together. And to see that transformation, that different person marching out in that crisply ironed uniform is basically their way of saying "Yep, this is me now. This is who I am. This is who I believe in. And who I'm proud to be."

Chanting: LSV, LSV, LSV!

Workandincome.govt.nz/LSV

View transcript of 'About the Limited Service Volunteer LSV course' video

There's no other course like this that I'm aware of.

You know, these guys come here, everyone's got an equal chance here to prove themselves and to learn.

We always tell them, once you get used to the routine, you'll honestly love the course. And the last month will change your life.

Move! Get your bags!

Shoulders back. Heads up. That's the one. Be proud. Focus.

One!

I'm going to give you fifteen seconds. Move!

The first day of LSV is really loud and aggressive. I think from a trainee's perspective, coming in, it can be quite overwhelming and quite scary. But knowing that there's a purpose behind everything we do, it sets up the rest of the six week.

Get it in your mind that's going to be your clothing for the next six weeks.

Make sure when you do this, your head is looking up, your shoulders are back, and you are proud to be here.

We always say the first two weeks is the hardest, but if you're here at LSV you're pushed outside of your comfort zone. And when you're outside of your comfort zone you grow as a person, and it shows you what you're able to do as well.

Get out any drugs, alcohol, knives, lighters, cell phones, MP3 players, aerosol cans, food, or jewellery, and this includes makeup, okay? This is the stuff we'll be taking from you for safe keeping. You'll get it back at the end. And you'll get it back when you need it.

Before this course, I've been waking up at like, three or four PM. But I'm hoping to get, like, a routine from this. Just get up, get out and do things. And not just sit in my bed all day.

Don't look at me. Look straight ahead. Stay in this position. I will be back with you.

I want to change my life, and just make everyone proud. Especially my mum, because that's like the main person I'm trying to make myself proud to. Because she was a police officer. So I want to carry on the path that she took.

I can handle discipline, most of the time. And I've done camps and stuff before but not anything this intense. I'm finding it a bit strict, but in a good way. Like, this is the kind of strictness I need right now.

Corridor!

The first thing about us is that we're military. And you have come to us to learn, okay? So we come across as strict, stern, and we enforce standards. The reason for that is because we get you here, and we want to give you back to society here. Okay? So, we need to hold you accountable for your actions and at all times hold you to the standard that we expect of ourselves. So just because we're holding you accountable, and we're holding you quite strictly to these standards that we give out, doesn't mean that we don't care, doesn't mean that we don't like you. Understand that?

Yes Staff.

I feel like our 17 to 25 years olds, at that time of their life, their decisions that they make really impact them. So being here at a six-week residential live-in programme, it is tough. It is confronting. It is challenging. But that's the whole point of it, is to get people outside of their comfort zone so the real work can happen.

One foot in front of the other. Five, four, three, two, one.

It's not about your weaknesses. It's about your strengths.

The longest day.

The longest day.

That massive, massive day.

Beast of a day.

We woke up at four o'clock. And then from there on, pretty much hell started.

So the longest day is a real long day of team building activities. There's a lot of thinking involved. There's a lot of fitness. A lot of mental push, that we try to push them to create new limits in their lives. That way, the next time they find hardship in their lives, they understand that they can push through things that they never knew they could.

It was quite difficult for me. I haven't done that much fitness ever. I just wanted to stop, walk away and just go home. But I just thought about the feeling of graduating. I'd feel pretty crap if I did all this and then just left. It was kind of just pushing through, and not giving up, for me.

[Clapping game]

I thought that I would give up at some point. But then I actually pushed myself and tried to remind myself, like, my purpose of why I'm here, why I'm doing this, who I'm doing this for.

The challenges I had was really pushing my mental strength. No matter how many times my brain says "no, stop, stop, stop, stop" because I'm not going to stop. I'm going to push through it. I feel like I've actually achieved something. I feel like I can say to my dad "I did this, and this, and this". He's going to be incredibly proud.

I've learned that my mind's a lot stronger than I realised. So instead of just dwelling in the negative, we're focusing on the positive. And that's the cool thing about here, is that they push forward the positive. So, I never give up.

It was pretty intense but the good thing about it was just, like, all the support, encouragement. Everyone that's, like, been pushing everyone to, like, try their best. I got used to being a leader, stepping out of my comfort zone, trying to, like, push everyone to come together.

If I can just do my best for this small portion of my life, I could probably change my whole life. It's probably the greatest second chance I've ever been given, coming to LSV.

As a platoon, and for myself, we've grown to be pretty good 2.0 versions of ourselves. So, we've raised the bar quite a lot through these six weeks.

I'm happy. I'm proud of myself and how far I came, because I'm leading my team.

Getting the trainees through to the end of the six weeks is a big achievement on its own. Graduation day could be the most proudest day of their life. I thought this was like a six-week bootcamp but it's not like that at all. It's getting them ready for a job, making them employment ready.

The job opportunities that the trainees have available to them post-course, they're a whole lot bigger than what they were prior. The skills and attributes that they've developed - things like work ethic, being on time, and being prepared to do any sort of task that they are given - they can actually show the employers that they are capable.

That's what this course does. It not only gets you out of your shell a bit, it makes you accept you for who you are, and also others. And it gives you those skills so that you can go out, back into your everyday life and be independent.

Each and every one of us has grown and developed skills that we wouldn't have known in the big wide world. So once again, I'd like to thank and congratulate you all for making it this far. You can take a man out of Three Platoon, but you cannot take Three Platoon out of the man. Thank you.

Teamwork's probably the most essential part of this course, because you're working with people who have completely different backgrounds to you. You make good friends that you wouldn't have actually thought you would have. I was just happy with the way I sort of learned to work with people. And that's just something I can take into, sort of, any area of my life.

I'm more out there now. I can stand up and take charge. I'm actually proud of myself. I'm the leader of the haka. I'm one of the kotiros. And I never seen myself as that. So, I feel really great and honoured to do that. It's a big change for me.

The significance of the graduation parade is huge for the trainees. It's the culmination of all of the successes, all of the hardships, all of the experiences that they've had to bond together. And to see that transformation, that different person marching out in that crisply ironed uniform is basically their way of saying "Yep, this is me now. This is who I am. This is who I believe in. And who I'm proud to be."

I'm really grateful that I decided to take this course. It was very challenging at first. But taking big challenges that I never thought I could achieve, it changed me a lot, actually.

  • Who can go on the course

    To take part in LSV, you need to:

    • be 18 to 24
    • be in good health so you can take part in outdoor activities.
    • not be working
    • not be in education or training.

    You can be male, female or gender diverse. If you're gender diverse, we'll talk with you about how we can make sure you're comfortable and safe throughout the course.

    You don't have to be getting payments from us to go on the course.

    If you're 17

    We'll consider your application on a case-by-case basis.

    Criminal convictions

    If you have a criminal conviction, you may still be able to attend LSV. When you apply, we'll complete a police vetting check and its best to be honest about any convictions. We consider each application on a case by case basis.

    If you're on probation or waiting on a court hearing, your Probation officer or lawyer will need to write a letter of support to go with your LSV application.

  • Activities you do on the course

    Each day is different. You'll do a range of activities every day, including the weekends. These could include:

    • people coming to talk to you about different life skills
    • taking part in physical activities
    • working together in a team
    • employers speaking to you about:
      • what they look for when employing someone
      • job opportunities.

    Fitness training will be a regular activity. It will start off easy and gradually build up to be more challenging. Everyone will be at a different fitness level but, as a team, you'll support and encourage each other through the activities.

    An idea of what you'll do in a day

    Time

    Activity

    5.30am

    Wake up, get ready for the day

    6.30am

    Breakfast and morning routine

    8am

    Adventure course

    10.15am

    Life skills

    12pm

    Lunch

    1pm

    Job skills

    3pm

    Meet employers and hear what's important to them

    5pm

    Dinner

    6pm

    Cultural training

    7pm

    Night routine/personal time

    10pm

    Lights out

  • What you'll get out of the course

    Girl smiling at table

    You'll:

    • have an awesome experience
    • be determined to improve the things in life you want to change
    • get new skills and new friends
    • have a CV, certificates and be motivated to get a job
    • make yourself and others proud.

    After the course, we'll help you to find work, further training or to study. You could be employed by various people, including the Defence Force.

    Information

    "LSV helps find direction in your life. You grow so much and feel so proud to be who you are."

    Maia, 2019 LSV graduate

  • What's expected of you while you're on the course

    Living on the army base

    You'll live on an army base for 6 weeks and sleep in the barracks on the base. There could be up to 8 trainees in a room and the rooms will be divided into genders. You'll get 3 meals a day and a uniform to wear.

    You must stay at the army base for the whole 6 weeks. NZ Defence Force are responsible for you and your safety while at the base and there are strict access rules.

    • You cannot go home on weekends, for birthdays or other celebrations.
    • If you’re part of a sports club or team, you won’t be able to play for the 6 weeks while you’re at LSV.
    • You cannot have visitors during the course.

    You’ll be able to write to your friends and family while on the course. NZ Defence will post the letters for you.

    You’ll be given the address for the camp and an emergency number which you can share with your family. They can write back to you or contact you in case of an emergency.

    If a family or whānau member becomes very sick, has a bad accident or dies, you’ll be able to leave the base. This could be for a few days or you could leave the course altogether, it depends on your situation.

    Cell phones

    You won't be able to use your cellphone every day. If you bring your phone, it will be collected and stored safely when you arrive at the base.

    You’ll be allowed to use it a couple of times during the 6 weeks. If there’s an emergency, you’ll be given the phone to contact home.

    Hair and jewellery

    You can choose if you want to get your hair cut or not. If you have long hair, it must be tied up.

    If you have any body piercings or jewellery, these must be removed during the course. This is for health and safety reasons.

    Smoking

    Your Platoon Commander will allocate certain times when you can smoke. You won't be able to smoke when you feel like it.

    Leaving the course early

    If you want to leave early, you can talk to the NZ Defence Force and Work and Income staff at the base about this and they’ll support you.

    If you get very sick, or a serious injury stops you from doing all activities, you may need to leave the course early. This would be discussed between you and staff at the base.

    If you do leave early, you may not be able to return and you won’t be able to graduate from the course.

  • Course dates for 2021

    Auckland

    Start date

    End date

    12 April 22 May
    14 June 24 July
    16 August 25 September
    18 October 27 November

    Wellington

    Start date

    End date

    27 April 5 June
    28 June 7 August
    30 August 9 October
    1 November 11 December

    Christchurch

    Start date

    End date

    25 January 6 March
    29 March 8 May
    31 May 10 July
    2 August 11 September
    11 October 20 November



  • How much it costs

    The course is voluntary and it's free.

    • We'll sort travel to get you to the course and back home again.
    • You'll get clothes, a bed and 3 meals a day while you're on the course.
    • We can help you get any gear you may need.
  • How to apply for LSV

    Step 1 - Complete the application form

    The application form has 2 parts:

    • an application to apply for the course
    • a police vetting form.

    You'll need your:

    • personal details, eg, name, address, date of birth
    • client number (if you have one)
    • community services card (if you have one)
    • emergency contact details
    • driver's licence (if you have one).

    Need help to complete the application form

    If you need help to complete the application form, tell us your name and contact details in the 'Enquire about LSV' form and someone will give you a call.

    Step 2 - We'll call you

    We'll call you within the next day or so between 9am-5pm to talk about:

    • the LSV programme
    • the application process
    • any questions you have.

    Step 3 - Get a medical check

    You'll need to get a medical check.

    We'll talk to you about how to do this (and we'll pay for it).

    Step 4 - We'll let you know the final decision

    The New Zealand Defence Force will make the final decision if you're accepted on the course. This can take up to 6 weeks.

    We'll keep in touch with you to let you know how things are going and what the final decision is.

    Once you're accepted

    NZ Defence Force will let you know the travel details of how you're getting to the camp a week or 2 before you start. This could be by:

    • bus
    • rental van
    • NZ Defence Force bus or van, or
    • plane.

    You'll also get a list of items you'll need to bring (see the 'What you need to bring' section below).

    What happens to your payments

    If you're getting payments from us, you'll continue to get them while you're on the course.

  • What you need to bring

    You'll get a list of items to bring once you're accepted onto the course. If you don't have everything you need, we can help you get it before you go.

    You need to bring things like:

    • formal clothes for the graduation dinner (nothing too short, low cut or see through), eg:
      • women can wear a dress, or pants and a top
      • men can wear dress pants, a shirt and tie
      • dress shoes (sports shoes are not acceptable)
    • some money to buy personal items. There's a shop at the camp and you'll be allocated time to go there if you need to.
    • enough medication for the 6 weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacy before you go.

    You don't need to bring:

    • your car - we'll organise travel to and from the camp.
    • a lot of clothes - most of the time you'll wear gear provided by NZ Defence Force.
  • More information

    We'll call you within the next day or so between 9am-5pm to talk about:

    • the LSV programme
    • the application process
    • any questions you have.