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Limited Service Volunteer course
Get the skills to find a job, feel proud of what you can do and get a fresh start in life. Take part in the Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) course – a free 6-week training course for young people.
If you're a young person who's not studying or working, you can apply for an LSV course. LSV is a residential course where young people take part in a range of activities to help them move on to jobs, training or study.
Run by the New Zealand Defence Force, LSV started in 1993 and courses run several times a year all over New Zealand. Hundreds of young people like you have joined LSV and built the confidence and skills to get work-ready and make a fresh start in life.
Join! It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to restart your working career and to boost up your motivation to do things out of your comfort zone.
– Trainee Leota, 2022
What you get from the LSV course
On an LSV course, you spend 6 weeks:
- meeting and working with new people from around New Zealand
- gaining life skills, like how to manage your time and money
- getting fit and staying healthy
- overcoming new challenges with our practical and personal support.
LSV gives you an experience like nothing you've ever done before.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
The LSV course helps you develop the skills to find a job. Getting work-ready means you:
- build skills employers are looking for – reliability, team-work and leadership, communication and a positive attitude
- earn certificates
- write a CV and cover letters, and practise job interviews
- meet employers and talk about what you can do.
Employers big and small know what LSV graduates can do. This means many trainees arrange job interviews, work experience or placements while they are still on the course.
Costs and money
LSV courses are free. And you're better off financially while you're an LSV trainee, because you:
- get clothes, food and accommodation
- get any gear you might need for the course
- get free transport to and from camp
- get free medical care, like dental care
- save money living in camp
- still get any benefits you're already getting from Work and Income.
I wanted to gain more confidence in myself and motivation, and prove to myself I can commit myself to something important.
– Trainee Wichman, 2022
After the LSV course
At the end of the 6-week course, you take part in a graduation ceremony that shows your friends and family how far you've come.
After the course, we give you a reference and help you find work, training or study. We can also cover the costs of moving to a new place, starting work and getting a driver licence, and arrange emergency housing if you need it.
I’m proud of not only identifying my own personal development but being able to see and help others reach their full potential and become better individuals.
– Trainee Waitaiki, 2022
Apply for LSV
You can apply for an LSV course if you're between 18 and 24 years of age and not in employment, education or training.
You don't need to be:
- getting a Work and Income benefit
- fit already.
Once you've been accepted to an LSV course, get ready so you can make the most of your time as an LSV trainee.
Find out more
Fill in an enquiry form and we'll call you in a day or so.