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Need to know / Canada

Tips on landing your dream ski job in Canada this winter

Canada jobs are some of the most coveted on the backpacker circuit. Here's the inside intel on landing one.

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With new visa extensions, high staff retention between summer and winter seasons, and Canada basically just being an all-round awesome idea to 180 your work life balance for 2024 – the word on the slopes, is that the race for winter ’24 ski positions are gearing up to be more competitive than ever.

With the Canada visa pools now open, we thought we’d dive in and give a few tips from the JENZA team on how to not get left out in the cold this year. And how to land a Canada job with your preferred resort.

Enter the visa pools now

In the wise words of Ella, our Head of Sales, “You’ve got to be in it to win it”. In this case, she’s referring to the IEC Canada working holiday visa pools. The pools opened for 2024 working holiday Canada visa applications on 11 Dec ‘23. There are a limited number of working holiday visas available each year, hence the pool system - where you first need to register. Names are then regularly drawn by the IEC (the body that governs Canada working holiday visas) until all the visa places are gone. The earlier you enter the pools, the more draws your name will be exposed to – increasing your chances of getting a visa.

Ella says, “If you know you’re wanting to go to Canada in 2024, enter the pools as soon as possible to get your ducks in a row before employers start hiring. They will only interview you if you have your ITA (Invitation to Apply) and because of the nature of the pool system, it’s impossible to know how long it could take to get your name drawn out. Plus, with the age increase from 18-30 to 18-35 for UK passport holders, we’re expecting the visas pools to be busier than ever.”

Get your preferences down

Pre-season preferences for winter '24 are now closed, but here's the intel for next year. FYI - all our early bird Jen-setters who selected Whistler as their first option, got Whistler or Blackcomb interviews...

Here’s Rob, our Global Product Wizard (only half of this is his actual job title...) to explain: “Our winter employers usually start hiring in May/June, but to give our customers a head start - you can register your interest with up to three of our ski employers when you book onto JENZA Work Canada. So, providing you already have your ITA, when winter hiring opens, it will get you in front of your preferred employers for interviews. The earlier you put your preferences down, the further up the queue you get when hiring opens.”

“Many Canada resorts only recruit through agents like us and come to us each year for their quota of winter staff. So depending on how popular the resort preferences get, we may close the lists early. Resorts we work with include: Clique (Canmore & Whistler), Four Seasons Whistler, Pan Pacific Whistler, Panorama Mountain Resort, Blue Mountain, The Westin Whistler, Banff Lodging Co., Marmot Basin, Sun Peaks, Cypress Mountain Vancouver, Fairmont Jasper... and more.”

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Jeffery

JENZA Staff | London, UK

Our Global Brand Manager has worked in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Her best job was working on a Great Barrier Reef dive boat, and her worst was de-leafing tomatoes. She now lives in London where she tirelessly lobbies for a tomato free office and continues to not give a f* about Oxford commas.

"Canada jobs can go faster than a hungry bear during salmon season, so be ready with your visa as soon as hiring opens."

Be open to other resorts

This tip came from our Kristian – our Head of Partnerships (aka, our level-headed Head Jobsworth) – whose job it is to go out and find employers around the world and staff them with you lovely lot each season. He said: “It’s important to book early and get your winter employer preferences down – especially if you want popular resorts like Banff and Whistler. But we do have a really big black book of 20+ hotels and resorts across Canada that recruit through us – so we will always be able to find you a 4-6 month winter job. However, the pool of employers gets smaller the later you book. We’re expecting winter hiring to open early this year – dates are TBC, but usually potentially from May. So if you’re not looking to apply for your IEC working holiday visa and start interviewing for jobs until July for example, it will be at the tail end of the hiring.”

Consider heading out for summer

Cat, our Work Canada guru – fresh off a couple of winter and summer seasons in Canada, filled us in on why she thinks winter jobs are gearing up to be so busy. “Canada is the ultimate year-round destination. And there’s a saying amongst working holidaymakers that says, ‘I came for the winter and stayed for the summer’. That was certainly true for me. Many resorts are all-season, which means when the snow melts, they turn into summer resorts for hiking, biking, rafting and climbing – and with it, often keep the staff they employed for the winter season. And because most nationalities can get a two-year visa, this staff retention continues back into winter the year after. For example, my friends who are still out there, have gone back to Panorama (where I worked) for the second winter season.”

“While everyone thinks of Canada as a winter destination, summer is out of this world. So, if you have your ITA and are ready to go, head out with JENZA and a 4-6 month summer season job in one of the resorts. And then this could give you a shoo in for staying on with that same resort for the winter season. While not guaranteed, it does happen – as employers will already know you (and hopefully love you) - so it’s definitely worth considering.

So, if like us, you're a firm believer that offices in fact DON'T NEED WALLS and you want to live, work and earn money on the slopes this winter, head over to Work Canada to get the snowball rolling on your visa pool application and job preferences. See you on the flip side!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hannah Jeffery

JENZA Staff | London, UK

Our Global Brand Manager has worked in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Her best job was working on a Great Barrier Reef dive boat, and her worst was de-leafing tomatoes. She now lives in London where she tirelessly lobbies for a tomato free office and continues to not give a f* about Oxford commas.

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