The Season Workers Guide: Ski Operator Training Courses
With most ski tour operators you will receive some sort of pre season training be it a residential course prior to your ski season or training in-resort with experienced ski staff, or even a dedicated training team. It should be a combination of the two and usually is these days. Residential courses generally take place in a ski resort and last about a week. Most firms also give you further instruction during the early season on site specific issues and some of the more technical aspects of the job. Any winter company worth its salt will then offer continued training and support to help you achieve success. Many large ski operators employ dedicated trainers to deliver support whilst you are on the job, smaller ski firms don't but you will usually be working in proximity of the owner or an experienced manager in this case.
Listen and Make a Good Impression
Ski resort season training courses, or the induction period, is a vital time to make a good impression and prove that whoever interviewed you was right in their choice to send you all the way out to a resort. Many people go into training courses thinking that they are already there and do not give their full attention. This can be your undoing even at this stage; people will notice and you might miss vital information regarding procedures and tricks of the trade. It is hugely important that you make a good impression on training courses, especially for a ski season; there is a massive amount of competition for ski jobs. Some companies actually (and allegedly) overstaff training courses and reject people who don't perform before the course ends.
Read the Joining Information
Before you get to training make sure you have read through all of the instructions sent by the ski firm. You wouldn't believe the basic items that people forget (passports, driving licenses for resort driving jobs etc). It always helps if you ask the odd question, it shows that you are serious about the job and are willing to have an open mind and learn from people with winter experience. The best ski companies will send you a checklist of basic items to bring, (for the rest see our forums). You should be polite and, if nothing else, appreciate the work that goes into putting these courses together. The most common traits in people who fail early on are a misunderstanding of the complexity of the job, and their expectations not being met because they didnt do their research or listen during recruitment and then on the training course.
To be successful in any kind of training you need to be receptive, flexible and have a genuine willingness to learn. Don't be a smart arse even if you think you know better! This just irritates the trainers and adverselely affects the experience of those training with you.