Assistant Team Manager – Rhinos

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Job reference: 000950
Salary: £29,891.85 increasing to £31,223.05 from 01/04/2024
Closing date: 07/04/2024
Department: Rhinos
Location: Chester
Employment type: Permanent - Full Time
Hours Per Week: 40 hours

We are Chester Zoo, and for over 90 years we’ve been a leading conservation and education charity, and an amazing, award-winning visitor attraction.
We’re also a team of passionate, talented, enthusiastic and expert people, doing everything we can to prevent extinction, from caring for animals to discovering new conservation ideas, and giving our visitors an inspirational day out.
We work hard because we love animals, we care about nature, we love Chester Zoo and despite all the recent challenges thrown at us, we still want to be the best zoo in the world! If you think you can help us to achieve that, then we’d love to hear from you.

The Role 

This is a key role working as part of our professional team, assisting the Team Manager to ensure the highest standards of animal husbandry, welfare and exhibitory are maintained on the Rhino section. A modern, progressive zoo offering opportunities to work with a great team responsible for one of Europe’s largest and most diverse Rhino collections. The rhino section consists of a total of 13 species including the Eastern Black rhinoceros, Greater one horned rhino, Brow-antlered deer, Javan Banteng, Lowland Anoa, Eastern Bongo, Sitatunga, Grevy zebra and several other deer and antelope species. 

As Assistant Team Manager you will:

  • Assist the Team Manager (TM) in the daily operation of the relevant animal team, ensuring compliance and high standards of animal care and visitor experience, directing, and organising activities as agreed with TM.
  • Assist the TM in the management of the department’s assets. 
  • Be responsible for the work programming and daily operations of Keepers, Lead Keepers, and voluntary work placements (VWPs), as delegated and required by TM.
  • Be responsible for routine one-to-one meetings/ PDR of Keepers and Lead Keepers, managing and supporting their training and professional development.
  • Have good knowledge of the relevant taxa, and current best practise management within the section, to include related conservation initiatives. 
  • Contribute towards Chester Zoo’s conservation, research, education, and visitor experience objectives, in line with the Zoo’s collection plan, Conservation Masterplan (CMP) and Strategic Development Plan (SDP).
  • Deputise for the Team Manager as directed. 
  • Represent and promote Chester Zoo, ensuring an excellent external reputation.

Our Requirements

  • Extensive experience working with a variety of hoof stock is essential, to include up-to-date best practice knowledge of relevant husbandry techniques, along with the ability to learn, adopt and develop new skills.
  • People management experience is essential for this role, such as conducting performance reviews, carrying out regular one to ones, motivating the team, having difficult conversations and nurturing staff development and needs in line with the section and collections goals. 
  • A good understanding of general animal management with specific knowledge in the husbandry, training, biology, and key conservation issues of animals within our care.
  • A high level of animal care, enclosure maintenance, facility improvement ideas and attention to detail is essential.
  • Good knowledge of health problems and veterinary issues that may affect the collection’s animals.
  • Good communication skills to engage with other staff, departments and to be able to deal with visitors, public talks, and requests for information from outside sources.
  • An ability to motivate and encourage keeping staff and Voluntary Work Placements 
  • A positive, collaborative, and cooperative working style, with the ability to work with colleagues internally and externally across various disciplines.
  • Competent in the use of animal record keeping, including the use of ZIMS Species 360 software
  • Computer literate in Microsoft packages (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams)
  • A relevant higher education qualification is desirable.
  • Driving licence preferred

The Package

  • Permanent contract
  • You’ll be working mainly fixed hours, typically 8am to 5pm, although some evening work may be required from time to time. You will work 40 hours per week, 10 days out of 14 on a rota basis including weekends and bank holidays, with set days off each week.
  • Salary of £29,891.85 per annum (increasing to £31,223.05 per annum from 01/04/2024) 
  • 33 days annual leave per year
  • Staff pass so you can visit the zoo during your time off plus a number of complimentary tickets for your family and friends
  • Access to healthcare plan
  • Discounted gym membership
  • Discounts on cinema tickets, restaurants, high street shops and more via Perks
  • Pension scheme with generous employer contributions of up to 9%
  • Excellent training and career progression opportunities

Shortlisting of applications and interviews for the role will take place while the advert is live; the advert will close once the successful candidate is found. Candidates are therefore encouraged to submit applications as soon as possible.

What makes Chester Zoo a great place to work?

As the UK’s biggest and best zoo, we have ambitious goals, exciting plans, and there’s always lots going on here. We’re an inclusive and diverse organisation, made up of nearly 500 permanent and 500 seasonal team members, and we know how important it is to invest in our colleagues to help boost their career development. We have ambitious goals, and we want you to be with us for the long term on our exciting journey.

We are a founding member of British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA), and we lead the way with pioneering conservation, research and education and driving the concept of modern zoos.

Candidates are asked to please apply through our website using the following link -

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