An apprenticeship with us is a fantastic way to take a first step on your career journey.
Whether it's a love of wildlife that makes you tick, or a passion to work in a multi-faceted global charity, one of our apprenticeships could be just the thing to kick-start your career path. Often opening doors to jobs across our global organisation, you'll earn as you learn.
What does being an apprentice entail?
Most of our apprenticeships are similar to Zoo Keeper and Aquarist Apprentice roles. But we do offer apprenticeships in other departments at ZSL from time to time so it's always worth keeping a close eye on our current vacancies page to see what's on offer.
Successful applicants will spend 24 months on-programme: working towards the occupational standard, with a minimum of 20% off-the-job training. Your daily tasks might involve assisting with preparing London or Whipsnade Zoos' animals' meals, cleaning and maintaining exhibits, or helping out with animal husbandry in other areas.
What's it like being an apprentice at ZSL?
Well, don't take it from us, instead - let us introduce you to Caleb. Caleb joined us in 2022 as a Business Administration Apprentice, at our historical head offices in the heart of central London:
"Applying for my business administration apprenticeship at ZSL was a no-brainer! The ability to earn while learning has kept me engaged as I’m not only learning the fundamentals, I’m applying my learning daily. Being able to play a part in a large international organisation feels like a privilege, from the start I’ve been welcomed with open arms and have been allowed to explore different aspects of the business with my mentors advising me every step of the way.
"ZSL has so many specialists throughout the organisation that it is never difficult to get expert advice, there is always a line to talk and learn. It also helps to have the Zoo just next door so you can see some of the positive impacts we’re having on our iconic animals and our amazing visitors. And it's especially nice to get to visit the Zoo for free too!"
Abby joined the tropical birds team at ZSL London Zoo in January 2022 as a Zookeeper and Aquarist Apprentice:
"Being offered an apprenticeship at ZSL London zoo was a dream come true. I have always loved animals, so being able to work alongside tropical and endangered species, whilst training and achieving keeper certification is incredible, plus it’s great to be able to earn a living while doing so!
ZSL is such a fantastic organisation to be able to work for, and I feel honoured that I am part of the team working towards better conservation. From the first day I was welcomed and supported by my team, and other colleagues from across ZSL."
How do I become an apprentice?
If you are enthusiastic and have good communication skills, we'd love for you to consider one of our apprentice roles. We don't demand that applicants have a large amount of experience but it's helpful for you to have had some experience working or volunteering with animals such as at a city farm or animal sanctuary. Opportunities do arise periodically throughout the year so do keep checking back on our current vacancies page.
Work Experience and other opportunities for young people
As you can imagine, we are lucky enough to be inundated for requests to come along and do work experience at one of our Zoos, and at our Science and Conservation directorates. For this reason, we work with selected charities and community organisations to offer these opportunities to those who need us most.
If you are a charity or community organisation looking to work with us, please take a look at our Community Access Scheme to find out more.