Summer Hospitality work in The Rockies
Enjoy the great Canadian outdoors as you spend the summer working in the Rockies. Work in either the hospitality or food and beverage areas of one of the resort’s leading international or family-run hotels.
You will need a Canadian Work Permit before the season starts. Register to receive your free Oyster Guide to the IEC Working Holiday Program now.
Oyster has been recruiting hardworking individuals to work in a variety of roles in hotels in the Banff area of The Rockies since 2000.
Whilst the exact role cannot be confirmed until a couple of months before departure, Oyster participants can relax in the knowledge that they have a guaranteed job lined up once accepted onto this programme. You should expect an entry level role in the hotel industry, typically:
- Housekeeping: cleaning the guests’ bedrooms and bathrooms and the public areas in the hotel
- Kitchen and restaurant: working as dishwashers behind the scenes or bussers in the restaurant, clearing tables and re-stocking cutlery.
Wherever you work, the standards and expectations are going to be high. To excel in your job role you will need to be punctual, stick to a dress code and be genuinely friendly and courteous to guests. If you can prove yourself adept and willing, other opportunities may arise in front of house roles such as bar-tending or on reception. These are all jobs that require a positive attitude and a commitment to hard work, however you’ll still have a great time. The philosophy here is definitely ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’!
If you have worked in hospitality before then do tell us on application as this may help us find you a job in other hotel departments although this cannot be guaranteed.
You will work full time, an average of 5 days per week. Working in a tourist resort does mean that hours vary with the season and guest numbers. When you first arrive in May, summer will be starting in Canada. The hotels won’t be operating at full capacity so your hours may not be at the full time level to begin with. Once you get into mid June though, the summer season really gets going and most hotels are at full capacity until early September. During the busy summer period you would be working 5 days a week, possibly more! Don’t worry though, there will still be plenty of time for you to get out and explore Banff and the surrounding area.
You should expect to earn around C$10 per hour (approx £6 per hour) and be paid fortnightly. The cost of accommodation is taken from your pay cheque at source, leaving you with money to spend on food and a great social life!
The season runs from mid May through to mid September and we ask that people stay until after the first full weekend in September. This is a Canadian holiday weekend marking the end of summer and the hotels are always very busy at this time. If you’ve not got university to go back to, why not stay? Many people choose to extend their stay in Canada and stay on for the winter season to enjoy some skiing too.
Accommodation and Food
You will live in accommodation organised by your employer. Staff housing is quite basic but is perfectly adequate for what you need. The accommodation is either on the hotel site or within walking distance. You will be self catering and should expect to share a room with at least one other person.
Most hotels will provide a meal whilst you are working, however you should ensure you can cook a few easy dishes before you depart!
The cost of accommodation varies but usually equates to approximately one hour of pay per night.
- Gain work experience with an internationally recognised brand – will look great on your CV!
- Feel fully supported throughout the programme; take part in monthly meet-ups with Arjun and the rest of your group.
- ‘Work hard, play hard’- earn money and enjoy socialising with like-minded others.
- Check out the Calgary Stampede, the annual rodeo, exhibition and festival, that takes place every July.
- Explore the spectacular Rocky Mountains on your days off. This area is an outdoor enthusiasts paradise with mountain biking, water sports, trekking and golf on your doorstep.
Whyshould I do this?
Whilst these roles may not sound like the most glamorous jobs in the world, you have to remember where you are. You will be working hard but then having the most amazing days off! This part of Canada is famous for mountain climbing, long walks, canoeing, rafting and mountain biking so your days are sure to be fun, finished off with a BBQ!
Working in Canada for a season is a great use of your gap year. Not only will it enhance your CV – Canada is recognised as being a country with extremely high levels of customer service – but it will also enhance your independence and confidence. You will be living and working in another country for 4 months and developing your skills.
The timing of these summer programmes work well with the academic summer holidays. If you are at university, you can head to Canada after your exams in May/June and then work through to mid September before being back home for the start of the academic year.
If you are flying from the UK we will see you and your group off at Heathrow Airport. On arrival, Arjun will pick you up at Calgary airport and drive you the 90 minutes up into the Rockies. On arrival he will help you to settle you into your accommodation. The next day, Arjun helps you arrange your Social Insurance Number, bank account and gives you a full orientation of the area.
If you are travelling from outside the UK we will arrange for you to meet up with your group on arrival in Canada.
Arjun grew up in London and went to university in the UK. As a graduate he decided the time was right to take a gap year and signed up to our Rockies programme in 2005 for what he thought would just be a 6 month stay in Canada. Arjun fell in love with the Rocky Mountains and decided to stay for another year, and then another… Fast forward to today and Arjun is now a Canadian Citizen, married to a Canadian and they have a young son, Ronan.
Arjun started life in Banff as a housekeeper and has worked his way up to become the Front Office Manager of a hotel in downtown Banff. In his spare time he enjoys all that mountain life has to offer from white water rafting and hiking in the summer to snowmobiling and skiing in the winter. You’ll get to know Arjun well during your time in Canada. He is an active member of the community and looks forward to passing on his knowledge and supporting you.
On arrival, Arjun will arrange a short orientation course and be in close contact with you over the first couple of days. As time goes on, Arjun will take more of a back seat and be there as a helpful friend should you need any help or advice. Once a month Arjun hosts a meet up with the Oyster group where we provide a few drinks and snacks and the chance for you to talk through any issues you might have. Arjun is a local expert on where to go and what to see in The Rockies!
Our representatives are there to be a helpful friend to you and steer you through difficulties of any kind. Arjun will keep us updated on your health and welfare throughout.
What is provided
- One-to-one interview and informal briefing
- Access to your personal ‘My Oyster’ account – our online portal where you can find out much more about the programme and manage your booking.
- Hotel based UK briefing day covering hotel issues and work advice
- Help and advice from our UK office before departure and whilst in Canada
- A suitable job, liaising with hotels and obtaining job offer letters etc. Please be aware some hotels like to conduct their own interview on the phone
- Optional flight with fixed return date. Total cost including flight £2855 (if you want a more flexible ticket this can be organised).
- ATOL Protection (as long as we book your flights)
- Arrangement of transportation to your hotel from the airport and local information
- Assistance and support from our representative throughout the programme, including regular social ‘meet ups’
- Wages (approx. £120 per week, before tips)
- Guaranteed staff accommodation (the money for this will come out of your pay cheque – approx 1 hour of pay per night)
- Oyster luggage tag
On your return:
- Welcome home pack
- Certificate of Recognition (on request)
- References (on request)
What do I need
- Be eligible for the Canadian IEC Working Holiday Program (sign up for our free application guide)
- A passport valid for a minimum of 6 months after your return date
- Insurance (covering adventure sports and any planned independent travel)
- Independent travel costs and cost of journey back to the airport at the end of the summer
- All home-country travel costs (to the interview, briefing day and airport)
- Accommodation and food costs, approximately C$18 (£11) per day. Accommodation cost is taken directly from your pay cheque
- Police Check for Immigration Purposes (approx. £45)
- Cost of IEC Working Holiday Permit – C$250