Ski field offering free instructor training in winter staff recruitment drive

Mount Ruapehu is offering a bonus training opportunity as it looks to recruit staff for the upcoming ski season.

Tūroa skifield. Source: Supplied

It comes as the hard-hit tourism industry is now mainly closed to international staff due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer at Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL), Jono Dean says "last year when Covid-19 unexpectedly hit we had to manage with 25 instructors instead of our usual 120 at Whakapapa".

Dean says that's because the majority of their staff were made up from international instructors.

“The lack of staff of course led to a reduced service offering on the mountain and this year we’re determined to source some more staff to continue our great service. Which means that it’s a perfect opportunity for Kiwis to come and work and enjoy a winter on the mountain at the same time.”

To help fill the gap, staff Mt Ruapehu is offering New Zealand qualification level training to help recruit staff to work on the ski slopes over the winter.

RAL, which operates the Mt Ruapehu ski fields, is offering a supported Apprentice Instructor Programme (AIP), which offers a registered New Zealand qualification upon successful completion and gainful employment at Whakapapa or Tūroa.

“It’s a great opportunity for experienced people who can ski or snowboard and would usually head overseas for their OE to come to Mt Ruapehu instead. And the NZSIA qualification is recognised around the world so it will open doors for international travel and work opportunities once Covid allows,” Dean says.

Thirty people have already registered their interest.

“Potential employees can choose which side of the mountain they work on. Successful applicants who go on to be offered a job will be paid guaranteed minimum hours, regardless of the hours worked.”