Animal Care (Wales)

Framework status: Current (latest) issue

Framework details

Framework ID: FR03278
Issue number: 2
Issued: 18 October 2016

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Animal Care (Wales)
(PDF document 2.62 MB)

Issued by

Contact name: Sandie Absalom
Telephone number: 02476 696996
Please download the framework for email contact information.


The animal care industry covers a wide range of areas including: animal care and welfare, zoos/wildlife establishments, dog grooming, pet care and retail, animal welfare enforcement, animal training, dog/animal wardens and animals in education and entertainment. This provides a range of jobs such as: animal care assistant, pet shop assistant, dog handler (uniformed forces), animal boarding assistant, dog groomer, animal/dog trainer, dog warden and animal management technician.

Animal health and welfare is a priority for all of the industry and the Animal Care Apprenticeships provide a practical entry and progression route that encourage apprentices to develop their skills and knowledge in areas of interest to them.

The animal care industry is important for the land-based and environmental sector in Wales, representing 5% of businesses and 14% of employment within the sector (Lantra Research 2009). This research found that 15% of all establishments within the industry had hard-to-fill vacancies and 11.5% of establishments reported they had skills shortage vacancies. The industry felt that this was because applicants lacked technical/practical skills (animal health and welfare, handling animals), customer relations, written and oral communication skills, planning, organisation and environmental awareness. The aim of the Apprenticeship framework is to upskill entrants in the industry to ensure that they attain the skills to be competent in their job.

The framework will also contribute to meeting the skills priorities in Wales by:

Providing flexible access to a high quality (Level 2 and Level 3) skills programme for animal care 

  • Incorporating skills to improve the levels of general literacy and numeracy in Wales 
  • Using technical and competence qualifications, valued by employers, to help their businesses grow 
  • Developing apprentices’ employability skills, making them more attractive to all employers whatever career they choose 
  • Providing a career pathway into jobs and training at intermediate and higher levels, to provide the skills which the economy needs to grow. 

The industry in Wales values the Apprenticeship as an entry route into the sector. Although the uptake is low, Lantra is working with the Welsh providers to increase awareness and uptake across Wales.  

During the review of this Apprenticeship, Lantra involved the Welsh members of its industry and virtual group, which accounts for 125 individuals and trade associations, of which 14 represent or are from Wales, such as The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association, RSPCA, Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and Dogs Trust.

It is the view of the animal care industry that because of the nature of their business, work-based learning through Apprenticeships is a good way for apprentices to learn the necessary skills required to work in a practical environment. This important entry mechanism has therefore been highlighted by employers in the Animal Care Industry Action Plan, which states the need to prioritise and increase the awareness and uptake of the Animal Care Apprenticeship framework.

The animal care framework offers one pathway with a number of routes, which is reflective of the areas of work within the animal care industry. 

Job roles at Level 2 (Foundation Apprenticeship) may include: animal care assistant, pet shop/retail assistant, animal/dog groomer, dog handler (uniformed forces) and animal boarding assistant.

Job roles at Level 3 (Apprenticeship) may include: dog groomer, animal/dog trainer, dog warden, animal management technician, zoo/animal keeper and pet shop manager.

Further information on the animal care industry can be found at:

Download framework

Animal Care (Wales)
(PDF document 2.62 MB)