Our Working for Nature trainee scheme gives non-graduate adults who have a passion for nature, a great opportunity to take their first step into a career working for wildlife.
Despite the interest so many people have for conservation, it can be very difficult career to get into. Training is often prohibitively expensive, and places are scarce – especially for people who have struggled with formal education. We were concerned that if people who loved wildlife were excluded from practical conservation due to a lack of further education, important skills could be lost within a generation. Working for Nature hopes to address this potential problem.
Our trainees spend a year working alongside our teams and volunteers getting on the job practical experience, developing the professional skills needed to break into the ecological arena; skills they can in time, pass on to the next generation of nature lovers. They also get off the job learning to gain useful conservation qualifications, while work placements within the environmental sector will help them meet fellow conservation workers and make valuable connections.
The Working for Nature programme is funded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is a partnership between Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust. Six placements will be awarded each year over a four year period, with two trainees based at each Trust. Recruits will study for their Level 2 Diploma in Environmental Conservation as well as receiving habitat and species management training from all three Wildlife Trusts to equip them with transferable, lifelong skills.
Our trainees talk about their experiences:
“My goal is to work as a wildlife ranger”
My name is Moustafa Abubaker Atta. I came to the UK in 2016 and I’m based at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust. I’m an animal and nature lover as I grew up on a farm around animals and nature. Growing up on a farm has made me connect to the wonders and the beauty of the natural world.
As I have always had an interest in the environment, I thought that the project would be a great opportunity for me to turn my environmental passion into action with an education and a job that can help to improve the environment. So I applied for the traineeship because I want to gain new skills and to learn more about the environment and conservation to develop my career working in the conservation industry.
With support and training, I have learned many valuable skills so far, such as how to use different tools and how to choose tools and wear correct personal protective equipment for the right job, how to use the health and safety techniques to keep myself and others safe during the work, how to make risk assessments, how to maintain nature reserves, how to read maps and find grid reference, and also I have learnt about the British flora, fauna and species. I believe the course will help me achieve my goal which is to work as a wildlife ranger.
“I loved learning about tree felling”
Hi my name is Liam Jackson. I’m based at Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust. I applied for the traineeship as I want to gain more knowledge and skills in conservation.
After our induction in Sheffield we visited the other two Wildlife Trusts, where we met the staff and got hands-on straight away by clearing brambles and scrub that were taking over the land. So far I have enjoyed all of the course, especially training for using a brush cutter. I loved learning about and doing tree felling and getting the opportunity to supervise volunteers. The training course will help me get a job in conservation by learning new skills, getting certificates like first aid and pesticide and experiencing different activities like coppicing, fungi identification, fencing and hedge laying. I am hoping to learn the Latin names to plants such as rhododendron.