Plant Operations Apprentice

Westcountry Rivers Trust

Stoke Climsland (Cornwall) and home working
£6.44/hour rising to National Minimum/Living Wage

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Sectors: water & hydrology, conservation & wildlife

Closing date: Monday, 20th May 2024   1 day left


Westcountry Rivers Trust is recruiting a Plant Operations Apprentice – a 16 -month apprenticeship programme.

This is a fixed term 16 month contract after a successful 6 month probation period.

Salary: The first year will be paid at the national apprentice wage (currently £6.44 per hour) and then at National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, dependent on age, plus benefits including pension

The role is 37.5 hours per week.

We support hybrid working in this role, therefore there will be the opportunity to work from home. Travel to sites throughout the Westcountry will also be required regularly; this role is a mixture of office and site based.

Benefits while working for Westcountry Rivers Trust

  • 25 days Annual Leave per annum, with a reward for long service - an additional 1 day per year for each year worked over 5 years, up to a maximum of 30 days for employees serving 10 years.
  • An additional 3 days Annual Leave for the Christmas Closure period.
  • 9% Employer Pension, plus Life Assurance cover

About the Westcountry Rivers Trust

Formed in 1994, the Trust was established to restore Westcountry rivers. Measures to protect rivers can help to save money for farmers, lower costs for water companies, boost tourism, reduce the need to dredge estuaries and even benefit human health. Everything the Trust does is informed by the best available science. Their work is driven by an ‘ecosystems approach,’ considering the function of the entire catchment, not just the rivers that flow within them.

Today the charity works with a wide range of stakeholders from landowners to local communities, businesses, farmers and water companies to restore and protect the rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal areas for the benefit of people, wildlife and the local economy. There has never been a more important time to work on the rivers of the West Country as the impacts of climate emergency and the ecological crisis is forcing society to invest in building catchment resilience.

Spurred by a shared love of rivers, the Westcountry Rivers Trust is very much a grassroots organisation, brought into existence from the bottom up. In the early 90s, a group of individuals, passionate – but concerned – about the waterways around them, began to stitch together their ambitions for restoring Westcountry rivers, laying the foundations for the Trust we know today.

Everything the Trust does is informed by the best available science. Their work is driven by an ‘ecosystems approach,’ considering the function of the entire catchment, not just the rivers that flow within them.

It was this new perspective – not to mention the hands-on and tireless approach to river restoration – that grabbed the attention of so many supporters and funders and which lies behind the flourishing rivers trust movement. Since then, the Trust now has circa 75 employees with an annual turnover of c£3m running multi-annual projects spread across a wide range of funders.

The Trust has three main delivery teams and a support services team. Our employees work on delivery sites, from home and from the office. Following the pandemic we have moved to a hybrid way of working and it is important that our IT enables and supports this change.

The Role

This role will provide a Plant Operations Apprentice post to work with the WRT Operational team across a varied programme of work, developing the successful candidate within their role and supporting on a range of trust projects.

This role will be mainly focused on site-based delivery across a range of WRT projects, working with the Operations team predominantly with plant based work, but also on other site delivery which may include chainsaws and other machinery. Additional training will be given to the successful candidate where required and appropriate. The successful applicant will be a motivated, enthusiastic, team player who will be reliable and show initiative. This role is a predominantly site based, but some desk based work may be required, and the successful candidate will be able to work in line with WRT’s hybrid working policy which includes home, office and site based work.

The Plant Operations Apprentice will report into the Operations Senior Team Leader.

This role will support the Operations Team and other departments at WRT with the delivery of various catchment management outputs such as but not limited to, habitat creation and restoration opportunities, monitoring, natural flood management, arboricultural work and community engagement. Your role will be predominantly site-based working at various locations on our catchments throughout the South West, supporting on the delivery of on array of project outputs for the Trust. You will be responsible for working with the Operations team to deliver a range of work safely and professionally on WRT sites, and once qualified and suitably experienced may act as the lead plant operator on some sites and activities. Reporting to the Operations Senior Team Leader you will develop your knowledge and experience of working in the environmental conservation sector with a focus on enhancing freshwater environments.

Key responsibilities include:

  • Safely Operating Plant and Machinery on site to support with the delivery of WRT project work.
  • Undertake and complete the Plant Operations Apprenticeship Programme developing the key knowledge, skills and behaviours required to successfully reach and pass the End Point Assessment on the course.
  • Supporting with site surveys, and inputting to various site documents such as Method Statements, Risk Assessments and other consents or permits to gain experience.
  • Support the Operation and other Trust teams with other site based work such as, but not limited to; plant and machinery work, chainsaw based work, surveys and monitoring, installation of a variety of habitat features and monitoring equipment.
  • Ensuring a high level of Health & Safety standards are maintained.
  • Maintaining Trust equipment, machinery and tools.
  • Engaging with the public, volunteers, landowners and other stakeholders.
  • Keeping your personal apprentice portfolio up to date and any other relevant training and CPD.
  • Flexibility to support on projects throughout the South West.
  • Attend Team and Project meetings as required.


Find out more & apply