If you’re really keen to do a season but are either not sure exactly what you want to do or are unsure if you have the necessary skills and qualifications, then there are a number of different courses and training seminars available to help you on your way. Read on for more suggestions...
Job Courses for Verbieralso see Job Offers in Verbier: Find a Job
Ski Job Qualifications
If you like the idea of becoming a chalet host but are unsure if you have the culinary capabilities, why not enrol yourself on one of the many cookery courses that are available. A number of them are designed specifically with chalet hosting in mind and equip you with all the skills and knowledge necessary for you to become an Alpine Domestic Goddess!
These courses are generally hosted by current experienced chalet staff so you can be sure that all the advice and time saving tips they share, actually work! Apart from learning essential cooking skills and preparation techniques you will also learn about budgeting, portion sizing, and how to cope with the sort of challenges a season may throw at you. You will also get plenty practice cooking for large numbers prior to your first guests and come away with a repertoire of recipes that you are confident cooking.
Courses vary in price, but as a guideline you should expect to pay around £400 for a week’s residential training. Many tour operators run their own cookery courses over the summer and will guarantee all delegates a job on successful completion. Some may even refund some of the course fees at the end of season. Natives – The Season Workers Website also runs an excellent residential course in Somerset and more cookery schools can be found listed here
Natives Winter Workshops
The guys at Natives have put together a series of workshops that are specifically designed to lead you through the whole process of “doing a season”. From deciding what to do, who to apply to, and writing a killer application form or CV, to sound advice on interview techniques, finding accommodation and general mountain safety. Seminars are held at various times throughout the summer and mini-workshops will be run at the Ski Shows in the autumn. For full details see here
If you have set your heart on being a ski instructor for the season then you are going to need a qualification first, so plan ahead! There are a number of organisations that offer ski and snowboard instructor courses, either for the budding teacher or for those who simply want to see a dramatic improvement in their own ski ability. A basic qualification will generally take 5 days but if you are planning on teaching professionally then ensure that your chosen course provides an internationally recognised qualification as what works in one country, may not in another.
The BASI Ski and Snowboard Teacher qualification is now internationally recognised and Brits have been using this qualification in France without any problem since 2008. Although the basic course which allows you to instruct in the rest of the world will only take three weeks the Teacher qualification take at least three years to attain and can be very expensive. Once you have it you'll be free to jump queues and take four hour lunches.
With the majority of ski shops in the Alps looking for qualified and experienced ski technicians to maintain their equipment, you might want to consider doing a Ski Tech course prior to heading out. You can find details of one such course here. It will give you a comprehensive grounding in all aspects of ski and snowboard repair and maintenance as well as boot fitting. However, whilst the course is fully certified and recognised within the industry the certificate you receive at the end is confirmation of attendance rather than of competence, so to maximise your chances of employment overseas, you should try and get yourself some on-the-job experience before you go.