The Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme aims to grow the number of experienced animal pest control specialists to support the predator free vision. The two year programme provides a career path for people wanting to work in predator control and will increase the capacity and capability of the sector.
The programme, funded by the DOC Kaimahi for Nature fund, is a ‘walk alongside’ programme where apprentices are hosted by experienced pest control specialists. The goal is to help foster a passion for the work, and the species it protects and provide practical experience with a range of predator control tools, techniques and projects.
Apprentices will complete the NZQA Certificate in Pest Operations (Level 3) and other relevant industry qualifications. They will also provide local on-the-ground support to conservation community groups, landowners, and other projects.
The Predator Free NZ vision requires skilled practitioners to help projects achieve their goals of predator control and eventually eradication. However, there are currently a limited number of experienced predator control specialists around the country and no clear career path for people wanting to get involved in the sector.