Voluntary Placement Programme – Shaldon Wildlife Trust

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Voluntary student work experience placement programme 2022/2023

Rolling application date.

 Shaldon Wildlife Trust is able to offer a number of work experience placements which will give you a unique understanding of working for a conservation organisation.

There is the chance to develop your skills across a variety of departments at Shaldon, including the animal keeping, education, conservation and administration departments.

There is also the opportunity to complete research projects and dissertations during your placement.  If you are required to complete a research project during your placement please indicate this at the time of your application.

A placement at Shaldon will provide valuable experience to add to your CV showing future employers that you are committed to a career in the conservation sector.

Shaldon Wildlife Trust is a small zoo on the Devon coast. Set in an acre of woodland, we are the smallest member of BIAZA and EAZA. Despite this we are active members of the zoo community and support conservation projects all over the word. Over the years we have gained a great deal of expertise in the breeding of many species, particularly small primates, and are regarded highly in this field.

We are currently advertising for student work experience placements of 9-12 months (with a 1 month probationary period). Shaldon Wildlife Trust is open every day and the placements will be full time i.e. 5 days a week including weekend duties. The main role of the students will be to assist with the husbandry requirements of the animal collection as directed by the Head Keeper in charge.

The programme is aimed at students undertaking a further or higher education course requiring a sandwich year in industry placement within their degree, or recent graduates who are seeking a career in the animal care/conservation sector or similar.

All placements are purely voluntary and as such it is with regret that Shaldon Wildlife Trust cannot provide any financial support or expenses to those wishing to apply for these opportunities and there will be no promise of future work within the collection at the end of the placement. To ensure that students are provided with a valuable experience, a training agreement will be completed and reviewed regularly, and a training record will be provided upon completion of the placement.

As this position is voluntary and therefore unpaid we recognise that this takes a level of commitment from individuals, therefore we aim to provide each student with a structured learning programme to help them in their future careers. Most of our previous students have gone on to achieve their goals of becoming zoo professionals thanks to the valuable practical experience gained through their placements.

Objectives of the placement

  • To gain experience and understanding of the work of a zoo animal keeping department.
  • To gain skills within the education and outreach department including delivering encounters and class room educational sessions.
  • To deliver educational talks at the zoo to visitors and groups.
  • To apply own personal skills and take ownership of a series of tasks and/or a research project.
  • To reflect on training and experience throughout the placement.

Anticipated tasks/training provided

  • Assisting with daily animal husbandry e.g. feeding, cleaning, enrichment provision, enclosure modification etc.
  • Observations of animals and recording of relevant information.
  • Training in basic research methods.
  • Visitor interaction e.g. answering visitor questions in a polite and sensitive manner.
  • Assisting with student/volunteer supervision at the direction of the head keeper.
  • Training in animal-management related computer software.
  • Training in all aspects of the company’s code of practice.
  • Comprehensive portfolio building

Skills Required

  • Enrolment on an animal science related course.
  • Previous animal-related work experience.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Adaptable to different working environments.
  • Able to work in a team and independently.
  • Physically fit for the demands of the post.

If you wish to apply for a Voluntary student work experience placement position, please send your CV along with a covering letter no longer than 1 side of A4 to :

Zak Showell

Director, Shaldon Wildlife Trust, Ness Drive, Devon, TQ14 0HP

Email – zak@shaldonwildlifetrust.org.uk

Your covering letter must detail why you are applying for the position, and why you feel that you are a suitable candidate, detailing any suitable knowledge, skills or previous experience that is relevant to this particular role. Please also mention were you saw the advert.

If your application is successful, you will be invited in for an interview at the Trust.

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