Job placements with
conservation NGOs

Professional apprenticeships

24 weeks

5 reasons professional apprenticeships are for you

Work placement with
international partners
Six epic months
in the wild
career guarantee
Grow skills through
fast-track training
Gain real industry
on the job


Participant Testimonial
Participant Testimonial

Everything you need to know about apprenticeships


Why joining a professional apprenticeship is a great idea

If you’re keen to follow a career in conservation and you’re eager to get all of the skills and experience you need to land your dream job, a professional apprenticeship with GVI is for you.

This is your best chance to greatly boost your employability and give you that competitive edge to ace your career in the conservation and sustainable development industries.

GVI is a well-known and award-winning organisation, so when you join an international professional apprenticeship with us, you can be sure you’ll be involved in a project that will make a real impact, and look great on your CV.

Here are some of the top benefits of joining a professional apprenticeship:

Spend six epic months in the wild

Our professional apprenticeships are the most comprehensive career-focused programs we have to offer. You’ll get to spend six incredible months in unreal natural habitats and contribute to real conservation initiatives in the field.

You’ll start your apprenticeship by spending 12 weeks working on real conservation projects. By working alongside the local GVI team and our partners, you’ll learn valuable skills from experts, attend practical training sessions and get real-world experience.

The best part is that after your 12-week project stint, you’ll then get a job placement with a conservation partner for another 12 weeks. Here you’ll do actual work for an environmental organisation to get real job experience.

Get a work placement with international partners

This is an opportunity you don’t get every day. Get the advantage of working directly for impactful conservation partners by doing real work that will benefit the environment, support local initiatives and boost your CV.

Some of the international partners you could work with include Huay Pakoot Elephant Foundation, Saving our Sharks, Welgevonden Game Reserve, Takata Experience Dive Centre or the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife.

You could also get a job placement with GVI by joining one of our local teams on bases across the world. Here, you’ll help implement nature conservation projects to address critical environmental issues, in partnership with local organisations.

You’ll get a job in sustainability – guaranteed

With over 25 years of experience, we know what it takes to land an impact-driven job. Over the years, we’ve tailored our programs to offer the specific skills, experience and exposure that we know are needed to prepare participants to become sought-after employees in the conservation sector.

We’re so confident, that we offer you our career guarantee. When you successfully complete our professional apprenticeship, we guarantee that you’ll secure an impact-driven position within 18 months, or we’ll return 50% of your program fee.

Get career-ready with fast-track training

One of the exclusive benefits of joining a professional apprenticeship, is that you’ll get access to GVI’s fast-track training program. 

This unique training program has been put together by professional career development experts, based on two decades of cumulative knowledge and expertise. 

The goal? At the end of your apprenticeship, you’ll walk away with all the hard and soft skills you need to thrive in your conservation career.

Some of the skills you’ll learn:
  • Leadership and managing teams
  • Emergency first response
  • Off-site safety management and crisis management
  • Participant management
  • Project management and setting objectives
  • Pastoral care, coaching and mental health
  • Self-leadership, professionalism and customer service
  • Delivering effective presentations and workshops
  • Partner engagement, onboarding and management
  • Communications and social media
  • Measuring impact
  • GVI policies and procedures

Support, guidance and training

Besides the specialised fast-track training, you’ll also get access to a range of benefits to support and empower you throughout your apprenticeship.

What you’ll get during your apprenticeship:
  • Four online courses accredited by the University of Richmond
  • One-on-one mentoring sessions with your remote supervisor
  • Advanced leadership training
  • Job portal access
  • Two career coaching sessions with an assigned mentor
  • A LinkedIn reference
  • Preferential GVI recruitment where you’ll automatically get considered for vacancies when you apply
  • Access to our carefully curated job portal that advertises vacancies in the conservation and development sectors.
  • An pre-expectation group call that’ll give you the chance to meet your fellow apprentices, get to know the staff and prepare for your internship

Discover more GVI program options

If you aren’t too sure what you’d like to do in the future, or professional apprenticeships are just a bit too specialised for you right now, you can also choose to participate in one of our internship programs instead. 

As an intern, you’ll experience a wide variety of conservation projects to get a taste of the different opportunities out there. You will take on additional responsibilities on base and might get to lead surveys, program activities or workshops, organise beach cleanups, fundraisers, or provide marketing support. 

If your main focus is to complete your studies in conservation, our research fellowships might be a better option. This program will give you the opportunity to contribute to real research in the field, become a co-author and get published.

Find the ideal professional apprenticeship for you

So, do you know what conservation areas you’re more drawn to yet? Would you rather make the ocean your office, or do you prefer tropical beaches, jungles or savannahs? Would you prefer having lemon sharks as your colleagues, or perhaps rather Asian elephants or panther chameleons? 

You’re in luck. With our professional apprenticeships, you get to choose between a great variety of programs with a specific focus, in different locations across the globe. You’ll be able to match your unique passions and interests with an environmental cause that will have a long-term positive impact on the planet.

Some of our conservation apprenticeship program types include:

  • Wildlife conservation apprenticeships
  • PADI divemaster and marine conservation apprenticeships
  • Coastal conservation apprenticeships
  • PADI divemaster and dive shop apprenticeships
  • Elephant and wildlife conservation apprenticeships
  • PADI instructor apprenticeships


If you’re more interested in programs that focus on empowering communities – GVI also offers a range of social impact professional apprenticeships. These include teaching English with TEFL, educational support, community development and international development programs to prepare you for your purpose-driven career.

And if you’re not entirely sure which one you’d enjoy most, get in touch with our team. They’re experts in professional apprenticeships and would love to answer any questions you might have, and talk you through your different options.

Where in the world can you join a professional apprenticeship?

You can join a professional internship in a variety of incredible locations around the world. GVI has permanent hubs with permanent staff on five different continents for you to choose from. 

From hubs situated within walking distance of pristine beaches to houses in the middle of a rainforest – you’ll get the chance to live and work in remote locations with exclusive access to vulnerable habitats and rare species.

Although all our conservation programs include career support and skills development, the following hubs are fully geared to facilitate our comprehensive professional apprenticeships:


We also offer community development professional apprenticeships in Costa Rica, Nepal, Fiji, South Africa and Thailand.

Frequently asked questions about professional apprenticeships abroad

Are GVI apprenticeships trade-based?

Although apprenticeships were historically quite trade-based, it has rapidly expanded to also include industries and roles such as project management, data management, business management, conservation, social impact and digital marketing. 

At GVI, our professional apprenticeships offer short-term work opportunities at a conservation organisation where you’ll get to do practical jobs to give you real-world experience.

Top global companies are increasingly offering apprenticeships as they see the benefit of on-the-job learning with hands-on support.

Can I get a job with GVI after my Professional Apprenticeship?

Yes, it’s possible! In fact, many of our international staff team are alumni – previous participants that have completed their professional apprenticeships with GVI. 

This is because our 6-month apprenticeship combines 12 weeks of intensive professional training with a 12 week work placement to apply your new knowledge and skills. As an apprentice, you’ll be thoroughly prepared for a job in sustainability, and will get preferential recruitment for internal GVI vacancies.

What professional training will I receive?

In addition to your apprenticeship program training, you’ll also receive professional training in the following areas: 

  • Impact Measurement and Ethics
  • Intro to Project Management
  • Effective Communication
  • Leading Teams for Impact
  • Off-Site Safety Management
  • Participant Management
  • Self Leadership & Well-being
  • GVI Policies and Procedures


Who will my work placement be with?

You’ll put your training into practice by completing a 12-week work placement – either with GVI on base, or at an external partner organisation.

Your placement will only be decided during your apprenticeship based on placement availability, your specific career direction, location preferences and skillset.

Please keep in mind that you’ll need to pass your professional training and project work part of the apprenticeship before you’ll get to work for an external project partner. 

How do I select the right apprenticeship for me?

It’s important to select a professional apprenticeship that suits your passions, interests and skills. After all, your apprenticeship could launch you into a specific career direction.

If you’re unsure about selecting your program focus or location, or you’ve got some questions – please submit an enquiry and we’ll get in touch with you.

Will I get paid during my apprenticeship?

Joining a GVI professional apprenticeship is a rare opportunity to get practical experience in the conservation field by working directly for an impactful organisation.

These apprenticeships are not paid. You will however get access to valuable training sessions, supervision, guidance, and individual career mentoring. You’ll also leave with new skills, a career guarantee and a network of contacts in the conservation sector.

What’s included in my program fees?

GVI’s program fees cover all food, accommodation, pre-departure support and materials, training and orientation, 24-hour in-country support, and project equipment.

You’ll also receive pre-program training, GVI online courses (endorsed by the University of Richmond) and the opportunity to work for a conservation partner.

When you complete the fellowship, you’ll also get a LinkedIn reference, get access to a job portal and get preferential recruitment for GVI roles.

What is the duration of professional apprenticeships?

All GVI’s professional apprenticeships are six months – three months of training and project work, and three months of practical work experience with a partner.

Do I need any experience or qualifications?

You don’t need any specific conservation experience, skills or qualifications. GVI’s team will provide you with all the necessary training you need.

Join a program abroad and save up to 15%!

Book by 30 September
12 week project work
  • Learn from local experts
  • Get immersive training on the ground
  • Develop sought-after conservation skills
12 week work placement
  • Gain hands-on career experience
  • Network with industry professionals.
  • Learn real-life skills on the job

Your 12-week placement uniqueto apprenticeships

Adding conservation experience to your CV is invaluable. That's why, as an apprentice, you'll get to work directly for one of our partners for three months.
Huay Pakoot Elephant Foundation
Chiang Mai

Help to conduct veterinary health checks on village elephants.

Saving Our Sharks
Puerto Morelos

Gather, analyse and interpret valuable data about sharks.

Welgevonden Game Reserve

Collect valuable data to support their biomonitoring program.

Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife

Give a safe and sustainable life to orphaned and injured animals.

Takata Experience Dive Centre
Puerto Morelos

Work as a professional diver and researcher in the dive centre.


Fast-track training uniqueto apprenticeships

  • Leadership and managing teams
  • Emergency first response
  • Off-site safety management and crisis management
  • Participant management
  • Project management and setting objectives
  • Pastoral care, coaching and mental health
  • Self leadership, professionalism and customer service
  • Delivering effective presentations and workshops
  • Partner engagement, onboarding and management
  • Communications and social media
  • Measuring impact
  • GVI policies and procedures
An impact-driven career.


With over 25 years of experience, we know what it takes

Stand out from the crowd

Conservation skills
  • Survey techniques
  • Climate change impact
  • Fauna and flora identification
  • Biodiversity and ecology
Leadership skills
  • Project management
  • Critical thinking
  • Resilience
  • Time management
Soft skills
  • Cultural awareness
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Teamwork

Kickstart your conservation career

After completing your apprenticeship, we guarantee that you’ll secure an impact-driven position within 18 months (or we’ll return 50% of your program fee). View our career guarantee

Program Certificate
Subject Area
Foundation Certificate
Leading Teams for
Impact Certificate
Careers in Sustainable
Development Certificate
Fast Track Training
You'll also get:
  • Weekly group sessions
  • Internship supervisor guidance
  • Advanced leadership training
  • Fast track training
  • Job portal access
  • Career coaching sessions
  • Career course
  • LinkedIn reference
  • Preferential GVI recruitment
Rare species. Exclusive access.

Kekoldi, Costa Rica

Mahe, Seychelles

Karongwe, South Africa
4–24 weeks

Work remotely on real projects for conservation partners.

2–12 weeks

Get broad exposure to a variety of conservation initiatives.

4–24 weeks

Complete your research or dissertation and get published.

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