Freshwater Pearl Mussels Assistant
Closing date: 9 October 2022 | Salary: £23,926-£26,677 (Grade 3) | Location: Cynrig Hatchery, near Brecon and Clywedog facilities (Clywedog reservoir)
Contract type: Fixed Term Appointment until 31 December 2026
Work pattern: 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday
Post number: 203347
As an organisation we support flexible working. This role allows hybrid working (a mix of home and office working) and a working pattern suitable for you can be discussed on appointment if you are successful.
You will be contracted to the NRW location stated in this advert, of which you will be required to attend for regular meetings, training and for one-to-one meetings with your manager. These will be planned in advance.
This is an exciting new post to support NRW’s captive breeding of the critically endangered Freshwater Pearl Mussels. NRW has been collecting adult mussels and rearing juveniles for a number of years and with support from two EU-funded LIFE programmes are hoping to re-establish viable populations of Freshwater Pearl Mussels (FWPM) in north and south Wales. You will assist the captive breeding team at the Cynrig and Clywedog hatchery sites in all aspects of aquaculture husbandry to support this work and other captive breeding (water voles and white-clawed crayfish). The role will also contribute to international best practice knowledge on breeding and re-introducing Freshwater Pearl Mussels into the wild.
Specific duties will include:
- Assisting with collection of adult mussels to form broodstock.
- Recording of data relating to the FWPM programme.
- Husbandry activities relating fish hosts such as tank cleaning, feed management, chemical treatments, movement and handling.
- Support in maintaining fish rearing systems, checking fish gills and assessing encystment levels.
- Assisting in setting up and maintaining systems for collecting juvenile mussels.
- Collecting and counting juvenile mussels from different origins using low power microscope and micropipette.
- All aspects of FWPM juvenile mussel husbandry and culture including preparation of diet, cleaning of juvenile mussel culture tubs and mussels using fine filters, removal of all mortalities, counting and growth measurement.
- Assist with the operation of FWPM living gene bank at Clywedog hatchery including the husbandry of adult mussels, older juveniles and fish hosts.
The post is part-funded by the new 4 Rivers for LIFE programme, an ambitious £9m river restoration programme funded by the EU LIFE programme, Welsh Government and a number of partners to transform Southern Wales’ 4 rivers Usk, Tywi, Teifi & Cleddau Special Areas of Conservation and their catchments in order to restore populations of declining habitats and species notably salmon, shad, lamprey and freshwater pearl mussels. You will have the opportunity to work with the rest of the project team on other aspects of the project where time allows and may seasonally assist the Senior Officer, Monitoring, to ensure the monitoring objectives of the project are realised, for example carrying out in-river surveys.
Your responsibilities will include:
- Using initiative and knowledge of aquaculture to support the day to day running of the hatchery.
- Support technical staff in rearing of freshwater pearl mussels and all aspects on the captive breeding programme, (handling and monitoring species health, maintaining equipment and aquatic systems)
- Manage all data requests received and responding within agreed timescales.
- Managing critical business systems for the team.
- Manage document storage requirements to ensure compliance with current legislation.
- Required to take part in incident response activities
Qualifications, experience and knowledge
You will be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of the following:
- Previous experience of working in the environmental/aquaculture industry.
- Previous experience in an Administration type role.
- Strong interpersonal and networking skills to develop good working relationships between partner teams within NRW.
- Strong and effective self-management and organisational skills.
- Able to work well as part of a team.
- Excellent customer care skills.
Welsh language requirements:
Essential Level 1 – Able to pronounce Welsh and use basic phrases
Please note if you do not meet the level 1 requirement i.e., ability to understand basic phrases and ability to pronounce Welsh names correctly, then NRW offers a variety of learning options and staff support to help you meet these minimal requirements during the course of your employment with us.
Applications to this role will be assessed based on the following competencies, both at shortlisting and interview. Please give examples of how you demonstrate these competencies when completing your application form.
Essential Knowledge and Skills
Evaluation of Information
Communication and Relationships with Others
Responsibility for Resources
Benefits of working for us
This role will offer a range of benefits, including:
- agile and flexible working (role dependent)
- Civil Service Pension Scheme offering employer contributions of 26.6% to 30.3%
- 28 days annual leave, rising to 33 days
- generous leave entitlements for all your life needs
- health and wellbeing benefits and support
- weekly well-being hour to use at your choice
See full details for all the employee benefits you will receive.
How to apply
Before completing your application, please read our Guidance on completing a job application form
Application closing date 9th October 2022
Interviews will take place in person at the Cynrig hatchery near Brecon or through Microsoft Teams.
If you have any queries about the role, please contact John Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07917 072574.
Natural Resources Wales embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition.
We welcome and encourage applications from groups currently underrepresented, including women, black and ethnic minority groups and people with a disability. We have a guaranteed interview scheme for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
We put the principles of human rights, equality, fairness, dignity and respect at the heart of our values.