ZEST (15-17yr olds) – established in 2009

Zoos provide a unique working environment due to the variety of vocations all working together in one place. The ZEST course aims to allow students aged 15-17 to take part in a work experience programme with us. We offer students placements with the keepers, communications, fundraising, gardens, education, works and visitor services teams at Edinburgh Zoo. At the Highland Wildlife Park we have offer work with the animals, education, maintenance and visitor services departments.

ZEST runs from the end of August to the following March and includes a week of work experience, 5 additional work experience days throughout the year, 3 outreach visits by RZSS staff to their schools and a trip to see a Scottish conservation project in action. The students not only partake in work experience but also learn essential employability skills such as writing CV’s, preparing for interviews and communicating with other staff members. 

The programme is for vocational students (Nationals 4/5) which may be preparing to leave formal education at the end of secondary school. The programme offers a chance to achieve 2 units in the Personal Development award as well as the Employability Award. Furthermore, the students learn about the role of modern zoos, international and native species conservation and environmental issues.

ZEST is currently being run in conjunction with the following schools; Craigmount High School, Portobello High School, Tynecastle High School, Uddingston Grammar and Kingussie High School.



ZEST – Certificate of Work Readiness (CWR)

(17-21 yr olds) – established 2014

We have eight work experience placements available within the animals, visitor services, gardens, works, communications and education department.  This will be an eight week programme to include the SQA qualification "Certificate of Work Readiness" and is available to 17-21 year olds that are not in education, employment or training

Two further placements for 17-24 year olds are also available at the Highland Wildlife Park.

Application process will open again in February 2016


How to apply

To apply for this role, please email [email protected] for specific job profiles stating the department that interests you in the subject line and then complete an  Application form and an  Equal Opportunities Form

CV’s are welcomed and should be submitted along with the Application Form.

Once completed you should email it to [email protected]

Applications may also be sent in the mail to:

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland
Edinburgh Zoo - Education Centre
134 Corstorphine Road
EH12 6TS

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