About the Social and Community Services sector

VP Social Josh



“I wanted to do something with animals and now I’m looking after kiwi.” 


Josh, DOC worker

What’s the work like?

This sector is all about enabling and support. It can be exciting, personally very rewarding, and physically and emotionally demanding. The range of jobs is huge – from monitoring and protecting people and property (as in corrections, defence, or fire fighting) to caring for people in need (as in health care, community and social work, medicine, or therapy). You may be working for the Government or the private sector. You may work outdoors or inside, or moving around from place to place. Wherever you are, you’ll be dealing with people of all ages and walks of life, sometimes working with them very closely indeed. There will be times where you’ll find yourself in fast-changing, challenging situations where you may have to make quick decisions under pressure. Wherever you work you’re likely to be part of a strong, active, and committed team and many of them may be volunteers. Your working hours can vary – people need care 24/7. So depending on your role, you might work in shifts or be on call.

What’s great about this sector?

This is a sector that’s essential for community well-being and safety. You’re helping people at the most critical times in their lives. What you do, and how you do it, matters deeply to them and makes a huge difference to their quality of life. It’s a highly social sector. Even if you work alone you’ve generally got a strong team behind you that supports and depends on you. You’ll make good mates here. This sector is also a really big employer. Your skills can be highly transferable from one workplace to another (in New Zealand or overseas) and even from one career to another.

Why is this sector important?

This is a large and growing sector with jobs and services that are essential for community well-being and safety. It’s a high-employment, high-growth sector and demand for workers in these industries is expected to continue in future years. New Zealand’s ageing population will need to be housed, managed, and cared for. There’s a constant demand for more police, corrections, and security officers. The need for immigration, customs, and quarantine officers is also increasing as more people and goods move in and out of the country and biosecurity threats increase.