Wild Paths Trainee Scheme

Wild Paths Trainee Scheme

Olivia laughs as she helps carry out reserve management work - Matt Sweeting

What is the Wild Paths Trainee Scheme?

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) Skills for the Future (SFF) Programme has provided millions of pounds of funding to organisations that provide work-based training placements to meet a skills shortage in the heritage sector and help diversify the workforce.

This year the programme sees Avon, Devon, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire Trusts teaming up to give people the chance to apply for nine-month long training placements in practical conservation and engagement skills. The partnership will offer people from diverse backgrounds a chance to access entry into a career in the natural heritage sector, by offering a comprehensive work-based training plan and a bursary of £1000 per month, to pay for rent, bills, food etc whilst they are in training. Wild Paths was launched in 2018 and aims to deliver 30 placements across three years.

Who is it for?

The Wild Paths Training Programme is designed to enable participants to gain a broad range of hands-on experience that will give them the skills and confidence to make a valuable contribution to the conservation of the natural heritage, and to communicate with, inspire and enthuse others about our natural heritage.  It is ideal for someone who is looking for a career working outdoors with wildlife and people, but candidates do not need to have any prior formal training in this sector.  Candidates will however, need to demonstrate a genuine desire to work in natural heritage conservation.  Candidate need to be over 18, but there is no upper age limit.   

The Wildlife Trusts are keen to reflect the diversity of the British community within our workforce and applications from under-represented groups, for example people from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background or people with disabilities are particularly welcome to apply.  If you are disabled and meet the minimum criteria for the post, we guarantee to interview you.  We also use an anonymous sifting process to remove as much unconscious bias as possible.   

Information for candidates

The Wild Paths Training Programme is designed to enable participants to gain a broad range of hands-on experience that will give them the skills and confidence to make a valuable contribution to the conservation of the natural heritage, and to communicate with, inspire and enthuse others about our natural heritage.  It is ideal for someone who is looking for a career working outdoors with wildlife and people, but candidates do not need to have any prior formal training in this sector.  Candidates will however need to demonstrate a genuine desire to work in natural heritage conservation.

The aim of The Wildlife Trusts is to contribute to the creation of Living Landscapes –the name given to our approach to restoring and reconnecting large areas of habitat to allow wildlife to adapt to climate change and other environmental challenges. Within your host Trust you will be a key member of a team assisting with the management of our nature reserves, surveying and monitoring wildlife and engaging people and communities in natural heritage activities.

Click on the name of the Trust to learn more about them: AvonDorsetDevonSomerset and Wiltshire.

What placements are there on offer?

There are 10 Practical and Engagement placements on offer across the South West; two identical placements in Avon, two in Devon, Dorset (one in west Dorset and one in east Dorset), Somerset (one near Taunton and one at Cheddar) and Wiltshire (one near Oaksey and one near Salisbury).  Candidates are invited to apply via a single process to one, two or three placements, (we will ask for priorities).  Details of each placement can be found by clicking the links below.

Each placement starts on 1st September and lasts for 9 months, with an expectation that trainees attend an average 32 hours training time per week.  Trainees will receive a bursary of £1000 per month, to pay for rent, bills, food etc whilst they are in training.

How do I apply?

The Wild Paths programme is coordinated by Dorset Wildlife Trust and applications must be submitted through them. 

It is recommended that candidates carefully read the notes below, and the individual placement descriptions, before completing the straightforward two-step application process as follows:

Step 1: Download and fill in our simple application form and/or if you are feeling more adventurous or just hate forms, send us a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation, a link to a webpage, or a YouTube video (or similar) where you tell us a bit about yourself and why you want to work in conservation and what is currently preventing you from achieving this. 

Step 2: We also need EVERYONE to fill in our short information form so that we have all your contact details, know which placement(s) you want to apply to and some additional background data about you to help us monitor the efficacy of our recruitment process. 

Then just send the information form AND either the application form or alternative info to recruitment@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk or by post to Rachel Janes, Wild Paths Project Co-ordinator c/o Dorset Wildlife Trust, Brooklands Farm, Forston, DT2 7AA who will acknowledge receipt of your application within 72 hours. 

If you have any questions about the scheme prior to applying or any difficulty with opening the forms, either email Rachel at rjanes@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk or give her a call on 01305 264620. 

Find out what a day in the life of a trainee is like and more information

Please fill in and submit this information form

Next, fill in and submit the application form

More information and contact details

The Wild Paths programme is coordinated by Dorset Wildlife Trust and applications must be submitted through them. 

For further information on Skill for the Future training programmes, please contact the Wild Paths Project Co-ordinator Rachel Janes (based at Dorset Wildlife Trust) on 01305 264620 or email rjanes@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk Twitter: @Wild_Paths

Wild paths 2019 intake

Wild Paths 2019 - Dorset Wildlife Trust 

Wild Paths 2018 intake

Wild Paths 2018 - Dorset Wildlife Trust 

2018 Trainees

Find out more

The Wild Paths programme is coordinated by Dorset Wildlife Trust and applications must be submitted through them. 

For further information on Skill for the Future training programmes, please contact the Wild Paths Project Co-ordinator Rachel Janes on 01305 264620 or email rjanes@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk 

Twitter: @Wild_Paths

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