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Thu 14th August 2014, 13:43

A-Level results are announced today – time to decide 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’.

Editors Notes:

  • Snoworks GAP courses are based in the French Alps – Tignes & Courchevel
  • Dates for the 2014 GAP BASI Level 1 & 2 course are – October 25 – December 20, 2014
  • Price for the 8 week course is £7,495 – course fee includes 8 weeks full training, half-board accommodation, airport transfers, ski passes, BASI exams, first aid course, CRB check and many more benefits
  • BASI Level 1’s should contact Snoworks directly for bespoke, shorter, programs
  • Snoworks GAP coaches include Lee Townend, Phil Smith, Emma Carrick-Anderson, Mike Barker and Nick Quinn
  • Telephone, UK > 0844 543 0503. Telephone International > +44 870 122 5549

The A-Level results blog was written by Rob Stewart of Ski Press 

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Having decided I wanted a gap year before university I decided I wanted to become a ski instructor and the best company to choose was SnoworksGAP. In October I began the season of my life by going on the 8 weeks Instructors course. I travelled to Tignes a little nervous, as it was the first time ... George Smith BASI 1 & 2 course (Read More...)

I joined the Snoworks Gap course for the first two weeks in order to complete my BASI level 1 exam. I chose Snoworks over the many other companies offering ski instructor courses after a lot of research due to its pre season timing and because of the flexible nat... Anna Cooke 2014 BASI 1 & 2 course (Read More...)

So my journey with SnoworksGAP started on a Snoworks “All Terrain” course with 4-times Olympian Emma Carrick-Anderson, I was having a chat on a chairlift about how my job sucked. She said I should do the SnoworksGAP course and head out to Japan "to teach and ski pow".

... JOE CUTLER 2014 BASI 1 & 2 COURSE (Read More...)

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