Let us take a look at what these companies look for in their instructors, and how those skills may be useful for your child. Outdoor companies cater for a wide range of clients, but the main focus tends to be on children and to a lesser extent, the disabled. This means that companies are looking for staff who have confidence and who can really engage with people but at the same time have the maturity to realise that Health and Safety is always the number one priority. Candidates are usually in the age group from school leavers to early twenties, with the majority falling around the 18 to 21 mark, ie college leavers. Some young adults may also wish to work a season between the end of A levels and the start of a degree.
The pay probably won't look incredible to most parents, but whether it is a training wage, minimum wage, or something better, the fact that they are earning, often for the first time, is clearly a positive step. It is also worth considering that the job may well include food and accommodation, which suddenly makes the remuneration rather better. Did we mention that as part of the job they are also likely to be trained and put in for one or more nationally recognised teaching qualifications? You can read more about these on the link at the bottom of this article. Career development is one of the best ways that outdoor activity centres can compete for candidates in the first place. Each company will be investing in your child to bring them up to the level they need to be at in order to teach their clients. What they do not want it to have some other company benefit from that investment, so creating an environment that nurtures talent and promotes from within is a sensible move that most will recognise and take advantage of.
For those who do want to progress within the industry, the first rung of the senior managerial ladder would be that of a Chief Instructor, who has responsibility for a large team of instructors. A Chief Instructor would typically earn £18,000 - £22,000 and would often receive free food and accommodation if based at a residential centre. A Chief Instructor is responsible for the skills and career development of staff and would undertake recognizable managerial activities such as performance reviews and monitoring staff performance.
The next level of the ladder is occupied by Centre Managers and as the name suggests, this is a managerial role. Centre Managers have a range of Line Managers reporting to them who they are responsible for managing. They also liaise with outside suppliers and regulatory bodies. A good Centre Manager can negotiate, has an understanding of Health and Safety and Employment Law, has good oratory skills and is passionate about staff development. A typical salary would be £25,000 - £30,000+.