14 Aug A-LEVEL RESULTS ANNOUNCED TODAY – WHERE TO TAKE YOUR CAREER FROM HERE
WHATEVER YOUR RESULTS ARE, TAKING A GAP COURSE THIS AUTUMN AND QUALIFYING AS AN INSTRUCTOR IS A DECISION MANY WILL TAKE OVER THE COMING WEEKS.
Recent news suggests that British instructors are not welcome in the Alps, but this is in fact not the case. Anyone qualifying as an instructor on a Snoworks GAP course at BASI (British Association of Snowsports Instructors) Level 2 can work in countries such as Austria, Switzerland, Japan, Andorra and parts of Italy.
Many instructors go on to take a higher level qualification that allows them to work legally in the French Alps too.
Based in the high altitude, Olympic village of Tignes in the French Alps, Snoworks run a pre-winter GAP ski instructor course that can qualify instructors at the BASI level 2 stage. Their coaching team includes some of the UK’s most experienced ski teachers such as Lee Townend who heads up the GAP program.
‘Becoming a ski instructor is a rewarding and valuable experience’, says Lee Townend – British Association of Snowsports Instructors senior trainer. He continues, ‘employers see the benefits of a qualification like ours because it shows an ability to communicate effectively, work as a team and lead a group of individuals in an environment that’s sometimes challenging’.
For young people this can be a smart investment for their future – for those more mature, it’s a chance to explore a new path which can open doors previously closed off.
‘Ski instruction is no longer seen as a low paid job that’s fun but doesn’t lead anywhere, far from it, says Townend. Today, there’s a structured professional pathway that leads to well-paid and stable employment’. If a career in snowsports isn’t for you then working for one or two seasons can be a rewarding experience and it’s always going to look good on your CV.’
The Snoworks GAP course is highly focused on the training involved to gain a qualification, which allows the holder to work in most countries, like Austria, Switzerland, Japan and North America, and teach skiing on marked slopes or within the ski boundary area.
Tignes during the autumn months is the perfect place to achieve this. The extensive glacier ensures good skiing conditions right the way through from September onwards and the Olympic village has some of the best sports facilities in Europe to keep students occupied after they leave the slopes.
Lee Townend explains why Snoworks GAP is different to some of the others. ‘There’s not much going on in the evenings at that time of the year in Tignes and although we create a fantastic atmosphere within the group, it’s easy to stay focused on the job in hand – passing your exams’! There’s plenty of chances to party if that’s what you’re into once it’s done and of course through the winter when you’re earning money and working in a resort as a ski instructor.’
‘Last winter some of our students worked in Japan or Austria for the winter and had an amazing time’.