Apprentices from Milton Keynes College have been giving back to the animal kingdom as well as developing their leadership skills as part of a collaboration between MK College and Team Building with Bite. Two groups from the College attended a day long workshop at Woburn Safari Park where they were tasked with building an enrichment structure for the marmoset enclosure.

The workshop was designed to test the Apprentices skills as they worked together to meet a brief given by the client, Hayley Potter, Head of Animal Encounters and Conservation at Woburn Safari Park. Teams then had to work to firstly understand the brief they were given as none of them have experience working in the Zoo industry and come up with ideas to fit very specific criteria. They were challenged by having to consider wastage; all materials were recycled and all needed to be used to complete the project. The task tested their ability to work under pressure, collaborate with others and deal with conflict, all key elements of the Leadership Apprenticeship programme.

Hayley Potter, Head of Animal Encounters and Conservation at Woburn Safari Park says: “The Leadership Apprentices from MK College did a phenomenal job transforming the marmoset enclosure. From intricate designs to confident stakeholder pitches; everyone in the team seemed invested in this project and their dedication showed in the finished product. The animal keepers were blown away by what they achieved in such a short space of time. It has been a genuine pleasure to arrive at work each morning and see the marmosets already out and about in their new adventure playground.”

Anna Clarke, Group Director: Employer Engagement and Partnerships, MK College Group says: “In our recent strategy update we outlined our focus to offer aspirational, innovative and student-focused educational experiences and this is the perfect example of how we can bring learning to life in a real environment. We are very proud of the work our apprentices put into this project and look forward to repeating it next year with our next cohort.”

The project was designed and delivered in collaboration with Team Building With Bite, a corporate team building company who use animal conservation and animal behavioural themes within workshops for businesses. The timber for the project was kindly donated by Arnold Laver Milton Keynes.

Mark Kingston Jones, Team Building With Bite says: “It was a real pleasure designing this challenge for the Leadership Apprentices, who did an amazing job hitting every objective we set them, and exceeding everyone’s expectations with the end result for the animals!”

The end result of the project can be viewed here: Marmoset enclosure makeover – Full day Team Build at Woburn Safari Park – YouTube