The National Trust has defended the salary being offered for an experienced boat driver and cycle hire supervisor at Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire. “If you are enthusiastic about boats, bikes, and all things outdoors, this opportunity could be for you!,” says Wicken Fen in their online advertisement for the job.
“As we approach our peak activity season, we’re looking for someone who wants to help people get the most from their visit and build a great all-round outdoors experience at Wicken Fen.
“Due to requirements based on marine insurance, you’ll need 3 years of boat driving experience.”
But it is the salary on offer that has come under fire from online critics.
“£13,313.30 for 1,235 hours is £10.78 per hour,” one person pointed out. “That’s not even the National Living Wage.”
However, Wicken Fen Nature Reserve replied: “The pay for this role is not below the current National Living Wage (£10.42) and the pay for this role will also rise proportionately from April as the NLW rises.”
However, another post added: “But sadly it is below the £12 Real Living Wage that 14000 ethical businesses pay. Especially as this is a skilled job requiring 3 years boat driving and will have responsibility for safety with cycles and the boat.
“So not the lowest skill job but paying near the lowest possible salary.
A job summary explains that the successful applicant will help “everyone who visits enjoy our cycle trails, sharing your enthusiasm for cycling to provide a high-quality service.
“You’ll also be sharing your passion and knowledge about the Fen and its wildlife with visitors as part of delivering a great boat trip. With every conversation you have, you’ll find ways to help people get the most from their visit and build a great all-round outdoors experience.”
The position is permanent, but the Trust explains the role is based on annualised hours, where the amount of hours you work each month may vary “, however your salary will be paid in 12 equal instalments over the year.
“You’ll work 1235 hours per year. The hours you’ll work will reflect our cycling and boating season – we expect this to be 32.5 hours a week (working on 5 out of 7 days) from March – October, and 6 hours a week (1 day) from November – February. Internally you’ll be known as Cycle Hire Supervisor.”
One definite perk, the trust points out, that “you’ll be working in an outdoors environment, overlooking the nature reserve when you are out the front of the cycle hire building, or gliding through it, if on the boat.
“Wicken Fen is one of the oldest nature reserves in the country, celebrating its 125th anniversary this year. It is an internationally important wetland, with 70,000 visitor each year coming for walking, wildlife watching, outdoor activities, school trips and to attend events. T
“The team of staff and volunteers manage the site for the habitat and wildlife conservation, as well as providing great visitor experiences and opportunities for people to get closer to nature”.
What will you be doing?
The job description says that day to day you’ll be helping as many people as possible engage with the outdoors.
You’ll be managing the on-site cycle hire operation to ensure the cycles and other hired equipment are in full working order, maintained and repaired to a high standard. You’ll answer questions and provide information so our visitors can access our cycling offer and have the best experience.
“In addition to this you will be one of our boat drivers, delivering an engaging boat trip for visitors, another way for people to experience the Fen and engage with the stories of its past, the landscape, and the wildlife.
“You’ll help ensure that all operations are conducted to be welcoming to everyone, and compliant in all safety requirements.”
To apply go to