Youth Development

The New Zealand Defence Force is linked with two youth development programmes. Each is funded by the government, but uses the expertise of Defence Force staff to help motivate young New Zealanders to enter the workforce.

The New Zealand Cadet Forces is an additional youth leadership programme run in partnership with the community.

Youth Development Programmes

In August 2009 the Government announced a range of initiatives aimed at helping young New Zealanders develop skills needed to enter the workforce. Funding was specially provided to the Ministry of Social Development and Ministry of Education to purchase youth development activities from the NZDF.

NZDF personnel supervise the youth development activities and are drawn from Reserve and Regular Force personnel as well as members of the Civil Staff. All staff have undergone rigorous screening and completed specialist training to assist in providing this unique and successful initiative.

Limited Service Volunteer

The Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) programme is an intensive 6 week residential course providing life skills to unemployed young people aged between 18-25.

Service Academies (Youth Life Skills) 

Youth Life Skills (YLS) provides support to over 20 Service Academies that are located within high schools through out New Zealand and funded by the Ministry of Education.

Cadet Forces

New Zealand Cadet Forces (external site) is a partnership between NZDF and the community. It is a voluntary, disciplined, uniformed youth leadership training organisation.


This page was last reviewed on 29 June 2016, and is current.