Skills development for future leaders | WWF South Africa

Skills development for future leaders

Finding innovative and catalytic responses to our complex environmental challenges, and impacts on human well-being, has the potential to significantly increase the scope of green careers.
A lot of young graduates lack awareness of the growing number of green occupations and how to access them. In the transition to South Africa’s green economy, WWF aims to connect our country’s emerging green talent to jobs in the environment sector and beyond. 
Green careers
Green careers include the traditional conservation jobs like Ecologists, Park Rangers and Taxonomists as well as the emerging areas of specialisation such as Environmental Economists, Environmental Engineers and Green Architects. 

More generic occupations also have the potential to promote sustainability in the green economy such as the Procurement Manager who ensures products are sustainably produced and sourced or the Plumber who specialises in solar water heating installations.

The possibilities are endless.  

To encourage graduates from various disciplines to explore the full scope of green career possibilities, WWF works with university faculties, careers centres and student clubs to promote green skills information that supports better career choices. 

Graduate internships
For graduates who wish to make a meaningful contribution to the environment, WWF’s Graduate Internship Programme provides a practical and paid bridging experience between learning and work.

From traditional conservation roles to sustainability teams in corporates, the range of job placements are vast and exciting. 
Over a 12-18 month period, graduate interns from diverse universities and varied academic disciplines are placed with WWF’s environmental programmes or associated partner organisations.

Through structured work integrated learning, and supported by mentors and peers, interns are exposed to valuable training and networking opportunities through which to grow and strengthen their technical, professional and leadership skills.
Post-graduate research fellowship
By applying for WWF’s Research Fellowship, students can do Honours or Masters research linked to WWF’s environmental work. This fellowship award supports progression through post-graduate studies where there is a benefit to the environment.

WWF assists the student to select a relevant research topic and provides a once-off financial award to support the student through their research.

Possible research areas include sustainable agriculture, water resource management, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change and low carbon transport, amongst others. WWF Research Fellows will build professional networks through their collaboration within key communities of practice.  

Graduate Development Internship Programme

Graduate intern applications for 2017 are now closed.

Applications for 2019 will open in September 2018.

Intern reflections

The WWF internship was a catalyst for my professional development. It provided opportunities to engage with sector specialists at local and international levels. It also helped me to set my career vision by making me identify my strengths and weaknesses.’
Thabo Mthembu, 2012 Intern

The internship opened my eyes and mind to many of the broader political, environmental and socio-economic issues in South Africa.
Megan van der Bank, 2011 Intern

This internship was pivotal in defining my career. I met people who have had the most profound impact on my life and I was given a priceless opportunity to build a CV that makes me employable in the environmental sector.’
Jaco du Toit, 2011 Intern