Work Experience

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Work Experience is an imperative part of pursuing a career with animals and their conservation. Blackpool Zoo is keen to support individuals as they work towards their chosen course or career.

Blackpool Zoo offers 3 different Work Experience Programmes:

Block Programme  5 (full time) 2 weeks + 8am–4pm
Daily Programme 1–3 (part time) 4 weeks + 8am–4pm
Student Keepers 5 (full time) 1 year 8am–4pm

(6pm in the summer)


Please read the information below carefully before you decide to apply for a position. To be accepted on our work experience programme, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be 18 years old or over
  • You must be completing/ considering a related course
  • You must be able to independently complete an Application Form and satisfactory Health Questionnaire, and communicate directly (not through parents)                                                

Before you are able to start Work Experience, you will be required to:

  • Attend a Selection Day and gain a clear understanding of Blackpool Zoo's Health and Safety Procedures
  • Complete and sign all appropriate documentation including all Health and Safety forms
  • Commit to completing the working dates agreed
  • Pay the administration fee (detailed on later pages)
  • Adhere to Blackpool Zoo's uniform requirements



The following documents must be completed as a paper copy and sent by post to the address below:                                              




Work Experience Coordinator, Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool, FY3 8PP

Once your application is received all communication will be via e mail so ensure you include a live email address on the application form - write clearly and legibly. Only apply if you are 18 years old or over. Applications from anyone under 18 will not be processed.  You will not hear from us unless your application has been successful and you will only be contacted within a month of the selection day (selection days are held every 2-3 months).

The reason you wish to gain work experience at Blackpool Zoo is an important part of your application therefore consider your answer carefully.

Please note receipts are not issued for applications you will be contacted close to the time of the selection day relevant to your start date. When your application has been processed you will be invited to attend a Selection Day.


The selection day is designed to ensure that the Work Experience Programme suits both the requirements of the applicants and the zoo. Selection days are arranged every 2-3 months.

During the day you will have the opportunity to meet with the Work Experience Coordinator to determine your suitability for the programme and also to plan your timings and schedule of work. If we feel you are not suitable for our programme or you do not fulfil the essential criteria, we will not offer you a place on the programme. If you are successful then you will receive a full induction on this day which will include a zoo tour, an introduction to Keepers and a full Health and Safety training session. You will be expected to make payment of the administration fee and uniform on this day (see details below), although you will not receive your uniform until your first day of work.

Students will be placed on one of the animal sections below. Any student who cannot work on one of these sections must make this known to the work experience coordinator on the selection day.

These are the selection dates for 2020.  Choose which one is most appropriate to you...

10th January, 6th March, 8th May, 10th July or 2nd October 2020.

The animal sections cover the following:

Section Animals
Birds Birds, reptiles and invertebrates (otters, red pandas and tree porcupines are also covered by this section)
Events Sea lions and display birds (please note students cannot train these animals)
Mammals Small and large mammals, including hoof stock and elephants (please note that students are unable to work on the Big Cat section)
Primates Old world and new world Monkeys, Prosimians and lesser apes (please note that students are unable to work on the Great Ape section)



It has become necessary to charge an administration fee to all our students. The administration is £10, which must be paid at the Selection Day.  The Administration fee is non-returnable and includes:

  • Full training including health and safety and working practise
  • Reference and certificate upon completion of the course. 


A branded high visibility vest must be worn by all students during work hours. Students will pay a £10 returnable deposit for the vest, which will be refunded upon return of the vest at the end of the placement.

A branded t shirt and sweatshirt is available for students to purchase and wear during their placement. This has been a popular option for existing students. This uniform is yours to keep, but does not take the place of wearing the high visibility vest.

Blackpool Zoo has a strict uniform policy which must be adhered to by all employees including Work Experience Students. More information will be given on this during the Selection Day. 


In 2012 Blackpool Zoo launched a new Student Keeper Programme. This programme offers students the opportunity of a year’s placement working in our animal department. The ‘student keeper’ works alongside our experienced animal team in one of four departments (see above).

This programme runs from September till August. Application deadlines are December 31st of the year prior to the start date (e.g. 31/12/16 for Sept 2017 start). The Student Keeper programme is aimed at students undertaking a sandwich year in industry placement within their degree.

As this position is unpaid we recognise that this takes a level of commitment from individuals, therefore we aim to provide each Student Keeper with a structured learning programme to help them in their future careers. We offer each Student Keeper:

  • Full health and safety training and continuous training as and when required
  • The opportunity to work alongside our most experienced Keepers and look after a section of the department
  • Keepers uniform
  • A monthly tutorial, each aspects of working with animals and within a modern day zoo
  • Research opportunities
  • A full reference and portfolio

If you require any further information, or an application form, then please contact Vicki at

We look forward to receiving your application!


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