Mt Ruapehu is calling out to Kiwis with a love of the outdoors and winter sport to head to the maunga for some winter fun – and offering them a job opportunity while they’re there.
With the borders still closed to international ski staff Mt Ruapehu is offering New Zealand qualification level training to help recruit staff to work on the ski slopes over the winter.
RAL CEO Jono Dean says, “Last year when COVID-19 unexpectedly hit we had to manage with 25 instructors instead of our usual 120 at Whakapapa, due to the majority of numbers being 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.”
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,” Jono says.
Already 30 people have 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.”
Jono adds that it’s very much a team effort on the mountain.
“Last season when COVID-19 threw us all a curve ball, everyone pitched in as a team to help wherever they could to ensure the ski fields and services operated smoothly. This season it will be very much the same.”
Meanwhile staff are preparing the mountain for the upcoming winter season and adding to the excitement Mt Ruapehu has some incredible pricing this year for skiing and boarding, especially during the week when it’s perfect to escape the crowds. And there’s also new family package pricing.
Weekday passes are just $74 per day and there’s also some great family packages where 2 adults and 2 youth can ski any day of the week for $299.
Mt Ruapehu offers the longest winter ski season in New Zealand on its two ski fields, Whakapapa and Tūroa. The Happy Valley beginner slope is scheduled to open on Saturday 5 June and Whakapapa and Tūroa on Saturday 3 July. The season – snow permitting – runs through until Monday 25 October.
Mt Ruapehu is an easy drive from the New Zealand’s main centres of Auckland & Wellington. There are two ski areas on the mountain, Whakapapa and Tūroa, including the New Zealand’s longest and most advanced gondola Sky Waka on the Whakapapa side.