David Rose, of KEITS Training Services, says: “As a nation of animal lovers, it’s good to know that there is a diverse range of work opportunities ranging from the horse care sector to dogs and cats.”
Whether you want to work in a veterinary practice, an animal shelter, pet shop, farm or zoo, or even set up your own business as a dog walker or cat sitter, there is something for everyone.
For some jobs you need qualifications, others you just need to be enthusiastic and love pets of all kinds.
“Apprenticeships in this sector are ideal for people who enjoy working outdoors, are keen to learn more and have a real passion for animals,” adds David.
Horses have always been a part of Emily Elms’ life.
“I grew up around them,” says Emily, from Maidstone, Kent. “My dad kept and drove shire horses which I rode from when I was the tiniest little girl – I couldn’t imagine a life without horses.”
On leaving school, Emily went on to get the qualifications she needed to teach riding.
“I always knew it would be hard work so, at about the time I met my husband, I took a couple of years off just to make sure it was what I really wanted to do.”
During that time Emily, 30, had her son Hayden and found that a job in a warehouse and doing some home selling for The Body Shop was enough to make ends meet.
It wasn’t until about four years ago when Hayden was going to playschool that Emily decided to get back to working with horses.
“There’s no escaping the fact that horses are in my blood. I just had to accept that,” she smiles.
Emily heard of a part-time job at Pollyfield Farm, a livery stable near where she lives.
“I got the job and I was back mucking out stables, grooming and riding. I start work at 7.30am and finish at 4.30pm so it’s a long day, especially in the winter. But it’s what I know and love.”
Emily was delighted when she was told she could enrol on an apprenticeship course through KEITS Training via Pollyfield KEITS training centre to study horse care and management.
“Although I knew an awful lot of the course work it was really good to focus my attention and get back into studying. An assessor came in to work to sign off the units.”
Just before Christmas Emily passed her NVQ Level 3.
“That has boosted my confidence no end,” she says.