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Working for the National Park Authority
Pembrokeshire and the National Park are great places to live and work, and deciding to work with us could be one of the most fulfilling and exciting decisions you make.
You would be joining an organisation where you can really feel involved and contribute to the community. We’re friendly, welcoming and we have great employment policies and practices that make this a happy and healthy place to work.
The Wales Audit Office carried out a staff survey in 2016 looking at the culture and governance of PCNPA, it highlighted:
- Our supportive work environment – 86% of staff agreed/strongly agreed that they can ask for advice and support when needed
- Our strong customer focus – 81.3% of staff agreed/strongly agreed that the Authority has a strong customer focus
- Our inclusive environment – 78.8% of staff agreed/strongly agreed that the Authority promotes equality of opportunity
- Our inspiring work environment – 84.2% of staff agreed/strongly agreed that they feel inspired to work with enthusiasm and commitment.
Around 150 people work for the Authority, across a wide range of jobs including Planning Officers, Rangers and Wardens, Administrative Assistants, Conservation Officers, Activity Leaders, IT Officers, Finance Officers and Communications Officers.
Many staff work from our headquarters in Pembroke Dock, or from Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre in St Davids, Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, Castell Henllys Iron Age Village and Cilrhedyn Woodland Centre.
Our Vision and Purposes
If you are already aware of National Parks and the Authorities that manage them, great. You may also be familiar with Pembrokeshire. If not, you’ll find that Pembrokeshire and the National Park are great places to live and work, where you can really feel part of the community and contribute to our very clear purposes.
The National Parks in England and Wales work to two purposes:
- To conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National Park
- To promote public understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the National Park
Whilst delivering these clear objectives, we also have a duty to foster the socio-economic well-being of National Park communities.
You can find lots of background information about the National Park and the Park Authority, including our Corporate Plan and Management Plan on this website.
Our vision as an employer is ‘to involve, develop and inspire those who work for us to deliver great service and achieve common goals, generating a healthy and happy place to work’.
Pay and Conditions
Depending on your starting salary, you will receive an annual increase (an increment to the next salary point in the grade) up to the maximum that the grade for the post allows. On occasion we may also award additional increments for exceptional performance - however, we can also withhold an increment for poor performance.
Otherwise, salaries are normally subject to a ‘cost of living’ pay award, in line with that negotiated nationally by the National Joint Council (NJC) for Local Government Services, normally but not always annually.
The Authority pays a supplementary living allowance in addition to basic pay to ensure that no-one receives less than the Living Wage rate. (That is the discretionary Living Wage rate, which is higher than the statutory National Living Wage).
You will be paid monthly, on the last banking day of the month, by direct bank credit.
You are entitled to membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS), which is contributory in accordance with a contribution banding arrangement, which is subjected to review annually on 1 April. This is a statutory, defined benefit scheme, whereby benefits under current regulations are based on your Career Average Re-valued Earnings (CARE).
- Working Hours
Normal basic working hours are 37 per week, often worked flexibly (see below). Committed to ensuring safe and healthy working practices, we actively encourage employees to consider their work life balance and their needs. Legislation restricts the number of hours you can now work in a week and provides for regular daily and weekly rest breaks. That’s the law. So if you expect to be working in a job/s other than the one you have with us, you should make this clear at the start.
New to Local Government? You will be expected to complete a six-month probationary period - successfully. During this time, alongside normal induction, you will be given all the support and supervision you require to settle in. We will also use this as an opportunity to assess your suitability for the job – we need the right people, you need the right career.
Moving to Pembrokeshire? We may be able to help with the expense of moving: up to a maximum of £5,500 for employees who need to relocate and who are eligible under the scheme.
- National Park Discounts
Every employee is eligible for discounts at National Park sites (Carew Castle and Tidal Mill, Castell Henllys Iron Age Village, and Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre) and on National Park clothing.
- Flexible Working
Our flexitime scheme is… well, very flexible. Many staff find that it meets their varying needs and although some posts are outside the flexitime scheme, these employees are encouraged to review the way they and perhaps their team work. We always welcome practical suggestions, and we’ll consider any well thought-out proposals you may wish to put forward.
Other options for flexible working include satellite working from Oriel y Parc in St Davids, 9-day fortnights and job-share arrangements.
You’ll start with a minimum of 23 days (plus Public Holidays) with one additional day per year of service up to five maximum (that is 28 days in total), plus an extra three days at Christmas (NB entitlements for part-time staff will be pro rata).
You can also request to buy up to two weeks additional holiday per year.
- Employee Counselling
Should you need support, you can access an external confidential counselling service, with a maximum eight sessions paid for by the National Park.
- Employee Helpline
You would also have access to a free employee helpline which offers support, information, expert advice and specialist counselling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Employee Health
We’re pledged to maintaining safe working practices across all our services and to encourage employees to participate in activities which aid rest, relaxation and general wellbeing.
Should you be taken ill, sickness absence will be managed in line with good practice, fairly, reasonably and consistently. The length of absence covered by sick pay depends upon length of service with a minimum of one month’s full pay and a maximum of six months full, six months half.
- Time off Work
There are various entitlements to leave (paid or unpaid) such as maternity, paternity, adoption, carer, compassionate and service in non-regular forces. In many cases the National Park Authority grants leave in addition to that already covered by legislation or national agreement.
- Social/Fundraising Events
Fundraising events such as Comic Relief are well organised and enjoyed. We’ll always make time for a worthy cause and team spirit.
We’re committed to providing ongoing training and development that is both relevant and appropriate to the Park’s vision and priorities. An appraisal scheme is in place to encourage communication, set annual targets and expectations, review progress and performance, and identify training needs.
- Job Shadowing
We encourage staff to join other staff to learn more about the work of the Park overall and the issues that other teams face. This really helps us all work together. You can do this formally within the job shadowing scheme or join in the occasional activities we arrange – joining the Rangers on a seal-watching walk in September is always popular.
- Society of National Park Staff
For only £3 per year you can join this society of staff from the National Parks across Britain. You can enjoy opportunities to attend Annual Conferences and Field Trips, as well as access to training opportunities, travel grants etc. The Authority lends its support to the activities that take place.
- Other Schemes and Discounts
We are also involved in other schemes and memberships such as the Cycle to Work Scheme, Welsh Hospitals Association; UNISON; Pembrokeshire Lottery, where deductions can be made direct from salary and you’ll be entitled to corporate membership with Pembrokeshire County Council's Leisure Services.
- Staff Representatives Group/Employee Forum
A group of representatives from different teams meet regularly to discuss matters raised by staff, or to act as a consultation mechanism for new policies and issues raised by management. Reps from the group also attend the Authority’s Employee Forum, where the employees meet with Authority Members.
Our headquarters is an extensively refurbished 1904 former military building at Llanion Park, Pembroke Dock. The renovations included ‘green’ principles such as bio-mass heating, rainwater collection and solar power. You can see our principles at work! The building overlooks the Milford Haven Waterway - with some offices having superb views.
- Oriel y Parc Gallery and Visitor Centre
Oriel y Parc is an amazing and innovative building which sits discreetly in the landscape. Beneath its elegant façade, state of the art green technologies work hard to provide a comfortable and sustainable environment. Oriel y Parc has been designed to use our basic natural resources of the sun, rain and native vegetation to cut down on our use of power and processed water. You can learn more about these features on the Oriel y Parc website.