Job opportunities

Job opportunities

L.V.I. DEPARTMENT (reptiles, amphibians, bugs VOLUNTARY WORKER (TRAINING PLACEMENT) from 1st March 2020

Wild Planet Trust - Paignton Zoo

Wild Planet Trust - Paignton Zoo

South West Closing date for applications is: 5th Jan 2020
Contact: Volunteers' Co-ordinator ([email protected])
Sector: Animal Care
Type: Volunteer
Contract type: Full-time

We currently have an opportunity for a Voluntary Worker for a period of 6 months (including a one-month evaluation period and the opportunity, when 3 months into your placement, to extend to a maximum of one year) within our Lower Vertebrate and Invertebrate (L.V.I) Department.


Voluntary Worker (Training Placement) roles are not for current students as we are unable to support you with a college or University placement whilst you volunteer with us.


Our own training agreement will be completed and reviewed regularly with you throughout your training placement and you will take away a completed training record and certificate on the successful end of your placement.


Our Voluntary Worker training placement program has resulted in a high percentage of participants finding employment within the zoological sector and it is our aim, along with your support, to provide you with the experience necessary to go on to be considered for a position within the zoo industry. As such, our Voluntary Worker roles are for those looking for valuable experience within the zoo industry.


This is a physically demanding role so commitment and a level of physical fitness is a must. It’s a very rewarding role and will allow you to volunteer alongside keepers, aiding them in their daily duties and helping care for the animals.


Mission Statement

Paignton Zoo is an education, scientific and conservation charity dedicated to protecting our global wildlife heritage and inspiring in people a respect for animals, plants and the environment.


Aim of voluntary worker role:

The main aim of the placement will be to attend to the husbandry requirements of the animal collection as directed by the Curator in charge. Voluntary Workers focus on one of our animal sections and this role specifically relates to the L.V.I Department.


The objective of the voluntary worker role is to:

Gain experience and understanding of the work of a zoo animal keeping department; Apply own personal skills and take ownership of a series of tasks and/or a research project; Reflect on training and experience throughout the placement.



The role covers all the areas within the L.V.I Department and you will be asked to volunteer wherever the Curator or Senior Keeper requires you to: Assisting with daily animal husbandry e.g. feeding, cleaning, enrichment provision, enclosure modification etc.; Opportunities to observe and take part in animal handling, rearing and training. 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 supervision, alongside a member of staff, at the direction of the senior keeper; Training in animal-management related computer software; Training in all aspects of the company’s code of practice.


Paignton Zoo is open every day and Voluntary Workers are full time i.e. a five-day volunteering week, including some weekends. This will be discussed as part of your Informal Discussion, which you will be invited to attend if shortlisted from your Interest Form / CV / covering letter. Informal Discussions will be carried out in person and not via telephone, Skype, etc. as this allows you to see where you will be volunteering and the area you would be potentially living (if necessary for you to move) whilst carrying out your placement.


Place of duty:

L.V.I Department enclosures / areas around the Zoo.


Department manager:

Curator of L.V.I


Skills required:

Previous animal-related work experience or volunteering (desirable but not essential); Good communication skills; Adaptable to different environments; Able to volunteer in a team and independently; Physically fit for the demands of the post; Must be reliable; Able to follow strict instructions.


Materials required:

A polo shirt, sweatshirt, combat trousers, fleece, waterproof coat and steel-toe capped wellies or boots are provided for a small deposit (£30) as part of your induction.


Any health and safety requirements:

Staff you support will talk you through all relevant health and safety requirements and risk assessments for the duties that you will be carrying out, with you needing to carry out full training for the role. You will need to ensure that your tetanus injection is valid and will be kept up-to-date throughout your placement.


Please note

All Voluntary Workers for this role must be aged 18 years or over

All Voluntary Workers are purely voluntary, and as such, Paignton Zoo does not provide any financial support or expenses to those wishing to register their interest in or take on these positions with us.

If you are successful in becoming a Voluntary Worker with us, two references will be taken up before you are able to start and, for identification purposes, you will be required to bring your passport and your National Insurance card (or number NI printed on a document) with you to your induction meeting.

Apply for this job:

To register your interest for this L.V.I Department Voluntary Worker role

Please complete the Interest Form at stating Voluntary Worker: L.V.I in the role choice and then email a CV and covering letter to [email protected] by Sunday 5th January 2020


If the items shown above are not received, we will be unable to take your interest further.