Saturday, April 20, 2019


The Limited Service Volunteer (LSV) Scheme was a National Party initiative developed in the early 1980's designed to teach life skills to unemployed young persons aged between 18 and 25.   Trainees are volunteers referred by MSD and are subject to police and medical checks.    The six week residential course is run by the military with social workers and other specialist personnel available to support the trainees during the course.

Support for the initiative waned during the term of Clark Labour Government and revived again when National was returned to power.     Mark Mitchell, the National Party Minister of Defence, was enthusiastic supporter of the scheme's enhancement and it's great to see that the coalition government has picked up on where National left off with work now underway on a new $10 million dollar, 120 bed facility, at the Whenuapai Air Force Base due for completion by the end of the year.

That will lift capacity to 1600 places annually with courses conducted at Burnham and Whenuapai.   It's money well spent.   The latest statistics available show that 81% of trainees complete the course with 52% coming off the benefit within 16 weeks after graduation.

The LSV Scheme is not for everybody but it works for many (particularly those with low self esteem) and provides a launching pad for those who accept the challenge to develop into useful and contributing members of society.   



Anonymous said...

"it works for many (particularly those with low self esteem) "

I'll never forget one lass cutting it fine with her leave almost up in minutes in the early hours of the morning telling the poker faced Officer of the Day what she'd done on her evening off from said scheme in the Navy.

"Sir, I've been at North Head. This LSV scheme is great. I cannot get enough of the 'salted pork'"

Yes the grass stain on the back of her white uniform showed her level of esteem.

PM of NZ

Gerald said...

pdm said...

PM - seems as though she might have gone for the hot sausage or the pork sword!!.

Allan said...

I would like to see a minimum of 1 year Compulsory Millitary training reinstated with exemptions for those who gainfully employed or at University. Even though I found it initially very difficult when I first started my Millitary Service as a brash 19 year old the life skills, discipline and self worth that my time in the Armed forces taught me set me up well for the future even though I did not realise it at the time. I am sure that initiatives like this would be beneficial for those involved and society as a whole. The money currently spent on paying umemployment benefits is only exacerbating welfare dependancy and certainly not improving anything espcially the lives of those who on these benefits.

Judge Holden said...

That sounds like a really fucking stupid waste of money, Allan, thanks.

Psycho Milt said...

Yes the grass stain on the back of her white uniform showed her level of esteem.

If fucking someone shows a lack of self esteem, our male naval personnel must be among the most self-loathing people in the country...

The Veteran said...

Newsflash ... young adults doing wot young adults do 24/7.

Noel said...

Yea Allan NZ Army was funded for a Divison back then. By the early 60s it was down to a Brigade

James said...

Having been an instructor on an LSV course, I’ve seen first hand that it does get some results.

Some caveats though - it is too short to produce long lasting changes in a person’s habits, but it is long enough to show prospective employers a degree of commitment and reliability, and it is also spawning imitation courses outside the NZDF run by unqualified people which still attract (public and non public) funding.

The bigger concern I have with it is that expanding it (it used to be a single sub-unit in burnham, now it is a full battalion across three defence bases) comes at the expense of the rest of the NZDF. The baseline funding is from MSD, but the following resources come from the NZDF - the personnel (especially the JNCOs who are a precious resource), the barracks (in a very dilapidated state, Newsroom reported this last year), logistics and HQ.

And now that all the NZ Army can field on operations is a bastardised battalion (even further downgraded from Bde level ops), it’s time to consider if the opportunity cost is worth it.

Just my two cents!

The Veteran said...

James ... thank you. Food for thought. Your point about the Army being reduced to a 'bastardised' battalion is a fair one but that is another matter. If the LSV Scheme is the catalyst for ensuring that 416 young adults (2016 stats) make it into gainful employment then it has proved its worth. The alternative is that those 416 souls may well have ended up remaining on the dole or worse. The 'worse' is a huge cost to society.

James, tell me. Was it your sense that the RF seconded to the scheme saw the posting as an opportunity to make a difference or a distraction to their careers?

Noel said...

Since 2010 the LSV cohorts have consistently managed to keep half their cohorts off the dole.
Sure that's an achievement but one also wonders after so many cohorts why there has been no improvement? James comment welcome.

SteveOves said...

I myself was a junior instructor (Leading Hand) at LSV in Burnham. I too believe the course should be longer, six weeks unfortunately is not enough. However that being said the team their still does a good job.

It is successful because we give them some basic life skills, personal hygiene and presentation, turning up on time, a boost in confidence and a sense of achievement.

However that being said they need to go onto further training or unemployment straight afterwards. If they go back to their original environment then they go back to old habits and the course was a waste of time.

One of the big concerns I have is instructor burn out especially amongst the junior staff who are at the coal face. In order to get the best out of the trainees you need to get the best out of the instructors. To do that you need to see they well trained and rested. Being instructir their was rewarding and I learnt more about leadership their then any book or course but it was tiring.

Overall I am glad to see they have expanded the course but would love to see them go further.

David said...

Whether or not the LSV scheme is worthwhile is one issue, but the greater issue is the reluctance of private enterprise to give people a go.

I worked at a developing business in Christchurch, and apart from myself and two other staff, we recruited exclusively from the long term unemployed. It benefited us as a start up, getting a substantial wage subsidy.

We fired two for committing an illegal act, a couple quit because the work was too hard, but the majority left us within 6 months to take up better jobs, jobs with a long term future and better pay. We were proud to say good bye and good luck to each of those men and women.

This can be done by most other businesses by applying scarce capital to provide a market solution with a socialist bent.

sadly, the majority of employers are greedy fuckers.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Sadly, the majority of unemployed are lazy fuckers.