FAQs for Ski Jobs France Starter
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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s it like to live and work a ski season in France?

It is all about the lifestyle and experience! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have access to the best mountains in the world and experience the French culture. You will need to have lots of energy as skiing, working and socialising for 4 or 5 months can get tiring, but totally worth it! The work load is higher at the start of the season because tasks take longer as you are just getting used to the job. Before long you will become more efficient with your work and have more time to shred on the skis or board. So, be prepared to work hard early but it all pays off in the second half of the season.

Very important is maintaining a high work performance for your employers. They are relying on you to work the entire season or work contract. Most jobs are in customer service and can be very demanding, especially during the peak holiday periods. But once you are making friends and up skiing in the mountains, it is all worth the effort and an experience you will never ever forget!

Check out the France Blog for more info.

Q: When do employers start recruitment for the ski season?

Normally some employers start to think about recruitment towards the end of the ski season. The most organised chalet employers will start interviewing from April/May onwards. June and July is busy with job interviews, but some employers also leave recruitment until after the summer (September/October). There are always some jobs available in resort at the start of the ski season. Typically these jobs will not include accommodation.

Q: How will Ski Jobs France assist me to find a job?

According to your skills, experience and motivation, we will provide information and guidance on where to find job opportunities. We also have employers that contact us searching for candidates, so if your application is suitable, we can pass on their details to you. It will then be up to you to send your application to employers and conduct interviews. We can assist with the process.

Q: Can Ski Jobs France guarantee me a job?

We are unable to offer guaranteed job arrangements. One thing to consider is that the unemployment rate in France is high with strong competition for jobs. Unfortunately this is something that is out of our hands. This package is suited to independent travellers. Travellers who take our CV, job search and interview advice and put in the effort to find a job, are generally successful with a job opportunity. We also have employers that contact us searching for candidates, so if your application is suitable, we can pass on their details to you. The French Alps offer a unique experience that you will remember for a lifetime, as all of us here do.

Q: I don’t speak any French, can I still find a job?

There are some jobs available in the French Alps that require very little French language skills. In fact, a pre-requisite for many jobs is English, as many of the guests or customers may come from English speaking backgrounds or do not speak French. However, if you are a beginner French speaker, it will be expected that you start to learn French before arrival and progress with speaking skills after arrival. If you don’t speak any French or need to progress with your skills, we strongly recommend to enrol in a French course on arrival.

Knowledge of French will provide greater work options. Due to the difficult economic situation and high unemployment in France and Europe in recent years, there are many job seekers and strong competition for jobs. Those applicants that have a working knowledge of French are the first to receive job offers. Many employers require at least a minimum Level 1 of French.

Q: Do I need work experience?

Previous work experience in one of the following areas is essential; retail, ski rental, cooking/catering, hotel, bar, restaurant, cleaning or driving. Many chalet jobs require driving skills. As most vehicles in the mountains are manual, the ability to drive manual is normally required.

Q: What is the minimum age?

French employers require that candidates are at least 20 years of age on arrival into France. If a French Working Holiday Visa is required, there are maximum age requirements depending on where you are from.

Q: How much will I be paid?

Pay is normally minimum wage, but can increase with more experience and skills you have. The minimum wage in France is 9.53 Euros per hour gross. Around 20% social charges are deducted from this. All salaries are paid at the end of the month. Good chalet hosts can earn tips from guests, often up to 100 Euros a week extra. Chalet companies will generally provide shared accommodation, food, a lift pass and equipment for the season. However the pay isn’t that much as these extras are deducted from the minimum wage. Most people aim to break even while working a ski season. It is possible to save money, but if you go out socialising every night, then most likely you will have to dip into your savings.

Q: When do ski jobs start and end? How long is the ski season?

Jobs normally start in December and run through into April. There may be some training in the last weeks of November, so it is best to aim to arrive in France by 15 November. If it is a good season for snow, work can sometimes go into early May. Almost all employers will require that staff are available for the entire ski season.

Q: What are the best jobs to maximise time on the slopes?

In the French Alps, shops generally open 9am – 12:30pm and 3pm – 7:30pm every day. Some shops will be open all day on the weekends. This gives you the opportunity to ski almost every day.

Night jobs such as bar or restaurant work will generally provide most days to ski.

Chalet workers will normally have 1 day off per week and should be able to ski from late morning into the afternoon every other day, except for the guest changeover day, when there is normally no time to ski. Set up and training at the beginning of the ski season and close down of the chalets at the end of the ski season generally provides less time to ski.

Q: What can I expect for accommodation?

If accommodation is included in the job, you will almost always be sharing a room with at least 1 other person (of the same sex) and often in a bunk bed. You will be very lucky to receive your own room. The cost of the accommodation will be deducted from your pay.

If you are finding your own accommodation, it can be expensive as seasonal accommodation is limited in the ski resorts in the French Alps. To cut costs the best options are normally small shared studios or 1 bedroom apartments with 2 to 4 people. We will help you every step of the way.

Ultimately, it is all about where you are, the people you meet and the experience of living in the mountains. During the days you will work and ski and there are normally plenty of options for socialising in the evenings – so not really much time spent in your accommodation.

Q: Do I need an international driving licence to drive in France?

Australian and New Zealand licence holders must obtain and international driving permit (IDP) from their local authorities to legally drive in France.

Canadian drivers with Alberta, British-Columbia, Manitoba, New-Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec licences are permitted to drive cars in France with their Canadian licences for a full year.

British and Irish licence holders are free to drive in France for up to 1 year.

After 12 months, all nationalities must obtain a French driving licence to be able to legally drive in France.

 

Contact us for further terms and conditions.

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