Our Conservation Work Skills programme

What is Conservation Work Skills (CWS)

We launched CWS in 2018 in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD), and it has been a roaring success. The programme upskills, empowers and supports beneficiaries to find meaningful work in conservation and beyond.

Our participants gain a lot of practical skills during their twelve-week course. They learn how to trap introduced predators, plant native plants, deal with invasive weeds, repair fences and propagate native seedlings. 92 % of participants leave with qualifications in Essential First Aid, Growsafe, Brushcutter and/or Chainsaw. CWS participants get hands-on work experience on CVNZ projects and with local councils and community groups.

The programme also helps participants gain a range of soft skills. Our friendly and knowledgable team leaders guide them through creating a CV and support them as they apply for jobs.

We surveyed our graduates to see what they thought of CWS:

With almost six years under our belt, we thought we’d reach out to past participants to find out what they thought of the programme. We were thrilled with the responses. Here’s what we found out from the graduates who completed our survey:

  • 85 % said that CWS positively impacted their mental health
  • 50 % said they had increased confidence in looking for work
  • 70 % said they developed skills that helped them find work
  • 65 % said they’d found a job during or after the programme
Success stories
We have hired CWS participants here at CVNZ. Vyona Broughton was a CWS participant in 2021 and now works as a CVNZ Conservation Officer. Vyona says,
“The programme enabled me to gain the basic skills, knowledge and certificates to get my foot in the door. The work experience offered, paired with the level of dignity and respect shown by the team leader at the time, gave me a sense of self-worth and confidence.”
One respondent said, “My placement with CVNZ is actually a real highlight of my life.” And another said, “[I have] far more employment opportunities due to the tickets I received, and it gave me more confidence.”
We’re really proud of our CWS programme and of our hardworking team leaders and participants. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou!
Ki te kotahi te kākaho, ka whati; ki te kāpuia, e kore e whati.
When we stand alone we are vulnerable, but together we are unbreakable.


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