Itâ€™s an attractive prospect taking half of your Gap Year to work in a ski resort and spend your time skiing or snowboarding. So where do you start? We caught up with Skiweekends to get you some answers. Also feel free to check out our Q&A on how to become a ski or snowboard instructor.
Where do you guys operate and where do you offer work?
What kind jobs are typically available?
Chalets and hotels require a range of dedicated staff from cleaning staff to chefs and logistics. Our roles therefore include Hotel Manager, Restaurant & Housekeeping Supervisor, Head Resort Representative, Driver & Rep, Head Chef, Sous & Commis Chef, Bar Manager, Hotel Assistants, Maintenance, Kitchen Porter/Assistant and Chalet Hosts. Click here to find out more about the positions.
How much could you expect to earn in this type of work?
For most people it is not about the money when it comes to ski seasons, it is more about the lifestyle and of course the skiing. Wages are low when compared to many jobs but with ski equipment rental, lift passes and accommodation all included for employees the monetary value of the wage may be low but when combined with these benefits it is a good deal. Resort workers tend to get one full day off per week with shift work on the other 6 days that allows for ski time, those working as chalet hosts will get between 11 and 4 to ski on most days.
What do you look for in potential employees, what would make someone stand out?
We are looking for those that understand the rigours of the job whether it be cooking, cleaning or simply hosting. Jobs in the Alps are not easy and we are looking for those that are coming to work as well as enjoy the benefits of working in a ski resort. To this end we run a chalet work training course in the summer equipping candidates with the key skills required for a successful season working in a ski resort. The courses teach candidates the key cooking skills required to take on hosting a chalet as well as theory sessions on budgeting, cleaning techniques to maximise slope time and also gaining a feel for an Alpine resort. The courses are run in Morzine at Skiweekendsâ€™ Chalet Gourmet. For more information on the courses get in contact with us on 02380 206978, they run in late summer and are proving very popular this year already.
These are the perfect opportunity to get noticed by us for the coming season. The courses are also attended by the recruitment departments of other leading ski tour operators meaning there are further opportunities for employment and interviews are guaranteed when on the course.
Is there any particular experience that can help with getting a job in a ski resort?
People are on holiday so it is all about customer service so that could be work in a local pub or restaurant. If this is going to be your first job it might be that you have volunteered to help at an event or something along those lines. The main skills that need to be shown are willingness to adapt to various areas of work and also friendliness and confidence when dealing with people. Of course if it is to be your first job the other way to show experience in the right areas is to attend one of the courses previously mentioned.
Typically what time period does this work last for?
The ski season lasts around 5 months between December and April. It is snow permitting of course so the end date is often flexible. Generally workers arrive in the Alps a week before guests in December to set up and train with snow falling all around with any luck. The season ends more often than not in blazing sunshine during April with a week to clean up after the final guests have left before heading back to the UK for the summer. Skiweekends are unusual in offering 2 weeks paid holiday to season workers whilst many expect work for 6 days a week every week of the season, an added bonus.
Have past employees found this to be a good way to spend their Gap Year
Past employees have found both the chalet course and subsequently working a season for Skiweekends a great way to spend their gap year. As well as spending 5 months in the amazing scenery of the European Alps they have also equipped themselves with skills. Whether it be cooking, cleaning, hosting or management they are all skills that can be transferred in later jobs. Employers back home often realise the work ethic that runs through Alpine resorts and understand the key skills that have been gained through a ski season. As well as skills for employment workers return from the mountains as much better skiers and snowboarders, a skill for a lifetime of holidays to the mountains!
Lastly, what are the perks of working in a chalet or ski resort?
The perks are of course the mountains. Not only is the landscape a stunning place with memorable vistas and sunrises/sunsets it is also covered in snow, snow to ski on! The main perk is of course this skiing, or snowboarding. Beyond that though ski resorts are a great place to spend 5 months with a party atmosphere, similarly minded people from the UK and beyond and new holidaymakers each week. It is a fulfilling way to spend 5 months of a gap year and it does not cost a huge amount as some pursuits can, you earn in resort and the expensive things such as accommodation and lift pass is taken care of by Skiweekends.