Keeper Academy from Blackpool Zoo Park
Blackpool Zoo Keeper Academy” is a 10 day course covering a wide range of zoo species. It is aimed at young people aged 15-17 years old who wish to pursue a career working with animals ( zoo keeper, vet or vet nurse etc), but who are often unable to gain work experience due to the restrictions of health and safety guidance. Containing both theoretical and practical elements each course has 10-12 students supported at all times by an education officer.
A portfolio of evidence is built up by using worksheets and annotated photos of the individual completing a variety of practical tasks. There are term time courses run over 10 Saturdays, or 2 week courses run over 10 days (Monday–Friday). Out of the 60 individuals from the 2010 cohorts there was a mixture from the local area and throughout the North of England.
Evaluation was completed throughout each course in the form of pre and post activity sheets, end of course questionnaire, worksheets and portfolios. Funding was available for 12 out of the 60 students, meeting the remit of producing a valuable course accessible to all types of young people 15 -17 years old.
The course has been a resounding success for all the participants as it gives them a unique chance to work in a zoological collection, undertake practical activities and gain the experience they need to support them in their future applications to colleges and universities.
Developed by: Blackpool Zoo Park