Hey guys, first post here - looks like a good forum to get some advice on my gap year! Bit of a long post ahead so bear with me..
I’ve got my letter of introduction for a Canadian working visa and am hoping to head out to Whistler in September to catch the end of the mountain biking season (my main sport) and start of the ski/snowboard season. I was just gonna try and get a job when I was out there (hand out loads of CVs and hope for the best) but have seen the Working Holiday Club - http://the-workingholiday-club.com/uk/canada.html
Seems like they offer guidance for jobs at Whistler Blackcomb and Silver Star (both resorts are where I’ve been looking to get work) - one of their team has 15 years experience as HR Manager at Blackcomb. They also arrange a UK interview. I’m generally not too good at interviews and don’t have much experience in customer service or bar work so feel like I could do with all the help I can get, but the fees aren’t exactly cheap!
The application fee is £125 (non refundable) and program fee is £374, the latter of which is refundable if you don’t get a job offer. The fees also get you a season ski pass worth $1500, one nights accomodation at samesun vancouver, in-country support etc. Plus they have weekly meet and greet parties which would be a great way to meet new friends to drink with!
I can’t seem to find any reviews online for them so am naturally a bit skeptical. Has anyone got any experience with them and are they worth bothering with or is the “normal” way of handing out CVs everywhere just as effective?
They seem alright! I’m doing the same as you except from Australia.
WHC were one of the companies I looked into but were full up until the DAY I paid my $700 fee with another company! Doi! Didn’t find a lot of info/reviews on them but they do seem to be legit.
After much extensive searching on the internet it seems to be very 50/50 with people saying it is a waste of money vs great idea.
I also stumbled upon A LOT of info with people struggling to get jobs (apparently if you go it alone they all have job fairs generally around october - which I’m not able to attend.. it’s all on their recruiting sites) that everyone has said you MUST be there for..
My friend went over a couple of summers ago to whistler and failed to get a job.. she’s blonde and GORGEOUS.. so if she can’t get a entry level job.. there’s no hope for me haha!
however the kicker for me is that a lot of these jobs provided by WHC/IEP can also guarantee you a place in staff accom.. now THIS is the kicker.. basically all the info I could find regarding accom in whistler or banff was just people saying they were unable to find ANY.. and a lot of people saying they had to go home!
I think it’s a good amount of money to pay to have some piece of mind.. however if I don’t get a job with the job fair it does make me think.. What next?! Because I definately don’t want to be coming home in 6 weeks!!
I also have my letter of Introduction and have come across The WHC during my research into finding a job in Whistler.
I have spoken to a few people who have already completed seasons in Whistler, and they convey a similar message, jobs can be over subscribed and accomodation can be difficult to find. They were not saying impossible, far from it, but it is largely dependant upon the time you can arrive in Whistler and how open you are when it comes to finding any job.
The job fairs open in October and this is when the majority of people arrive. These are huge days with numerous employers (my friend went to one last year) and its a case of handing out as many CV’s as possible. Numbers of applicants for each job vary, and you may have to accept a job that your not neccesarily happy with just to get some accomodation.
Personally, i will be going with The WHC. This is because i would prefer to delay my arrival in Canada until the last possible moment (late October, early November), i can earn money in the UK right up until the last minute rather that pay for accomodation for a job that may not start for a number of weeks, and for the piece of mind that i will actually have a job when i arrive. I cant think of anything worse than having my heart set on a season in Whistler only to struggle to find a job and get the last options of accomodation.
The jobs that they have in Whistler (my chosen resort) all offer Staff Accomodation. Although far from the most luxurious accomodation, it is pretty cheap and over the course of the season, the money saved through cheaper rent may go a little way towards your initial payment to The WHC.
The WHC is largely for piece of mind. However, i am only doing The WHC due to my circumstances, the main one being that i will not be in Canada for the Job Fairs. Kiwi_Hayley i agree, accomodation can be very limited on the mountain. Its not to say that you cant find alternative accomodation whilst your their anyway.
OK cheers guys, sounds like it might be worth it then. I didn’t realise the accomodation situation was that bad. If Whistler fails then my “backup” plan is Vancouver which I guess as a big major city should have a few more jobs and accom available?
I really don’t want to come back after a few weeks either!
Well I just booked my place for the WHC Powder Package. Maybe see some of you there :D
Just booked/paid for mine with IEP..
really wanna go somewhere near Banff!!
IM SO EXCITED. AND I JUST CANT HIDE IT.
Yeah I’ve heard banff is amazing for the nightlife and scenery. Depending what happens job wise I’ll probably do a moose network tour at some point during my stay, one that covers the rockies.
If you haven’t seen the Moose Network tours, they seem awesome - http://www.moosenetwork.com/
Initially I wanted to go to Whistler - but A) that program was full and B) I keep getting told it’s full of Australians… which as I currently live in a australia is something I want to get away from haha!
From what I found on google whilst people loved it at whistler.. the smaller fields did seem to have a lot more fun and more of a small community feel!
I so hope I land a job through this program!!!!!!!! Anywhere would be fine.. just need to get to canada!!!
I so hope I land a job through this program!!!!!!!! Anywhere would be fine.. just need to get to canada!!!
Me too.. if I don’t get one through this I dunno what I’ll do, as if I can’t get through with loads of help from experienced HR guys then what chance do I have independantly
And yeah I’ve heard about everyone in whistler being australian as well, haha
hmm well I’m not impressed! Before paying the £125 application fee they failed to mention that I need to pick two resorts and could get offered a job at either.. but to be honest I really have my heart set on Whistler as none of the other locations have as good off-season mountain biking whereas Whistler is meant to be great for both the bikepark and natural stuff. So I’m not sure whether I’ll continue with my application as I don’t want to be working somewhere I don’t really want to be!
Quite annoying. I’m sure working anywhere in Canada will be great but I’m really after Whistler if possible.
Hey guys sorry for bumping this post I just have some good things to say about WHC
I have so far signed up with their powder package, which was 800$ aus, I have had my interview with a HR Rep for whistler backcomb lifts, and am awaiting the letter of offer if I was successful. WHC has been very helpful throughout the entire process So far, and they can also help with fights and visa application. The reason why they ask for two resorts is the fact that they might fill up in Your first preference or the resorts them self may fill up.
Again sorry for bumping an old thread
[size=3]Okay, so I have been viewing The Working Holiday Club reviews online and have hardly seen any negative comments which I find really odd. As a client of the WHC I would firstly like to start my experience by saying DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY. I thinking it was a good idea agreed to go with WHC after reading positive reviews on it and it looked like it could really help me out to get settled in London. So you pay your deposit, get phone calls explaining from people what this package entitles you to, you then decide from all that you’ve heard that it’s a really good idea and seems legit. You pay your $700 or however much it was for what you believe is a place to live, a job, a bank account, a SIM card, Hostel accommodation and god knows what else they dribbled. Little did they tell you that the Hostel you stay at is disgusting, rarely any hot water, mushrooms growing out of the bathroom walls (Have proof of this as I took pictures), my bed had dirty spoons in them, some had bed bugs and mice traps right next to their head.
So you confirm a date you want to start working, yet you dont start until the week after, you also dont get your room options until a few days later and by then your 3 free nights (not really free considering you pay $700 for nothing) are used up and then you have to start paying 16 pound a night. Yeah you all may think its only 16pound but when youve just spent $700 or more on this package youd expect to stay there for free until you find a place to live as that is apart of the package and especially considering you have only just got your house optionals and the hostel is disgusting. So you also think that you willl get to stay in a nice house, cheap rent, living in good conditions and have all the hard work done for you…think again. If you don’t pay your deposit you supposedly get worse options (I didn’t pay my deposit) however my options were similar to those who did and they all wish that they didn’t. You get options of places ranging from prices of 400-850pound, however the cheaper you go the more disgusting they were, some people in the hostel said they wouldnt even let their dog live at the places they viewed. Anyway off topic, you get these options which are really expensive, yet at your orientation they tell you that you will struggle to pay 500 or more a month. They also really try to convince you not to find your own place because OMG SO MANY SHARKS OUT THERE (ITS CALLED COMMON SENSE). I looked at one option and it was gross, so after that i started looking at places on spare room, flat share etc. You could rent an actual house with other people for cheaper than a room for rent in a flat.
The job, now thats a completely different story. Im sure you all have been told you will be working with celebrities, getting tips, doing this and that blah blah blah. So this work is done through elements, What you don’t get told is that you get rostered on for eg. 6am-1pm. You firstly have to wake up at 4am as you need to meet an hour or half an hour before the shift, 1pm isn’t actually your finishing time, you could be there for 14 hours before you’re allowed to say you are leaving. If you complain before hand and say you have things to do than you will get sent home without pay despite the fact you could have worked 12 hours that day. You usually get one 30min break in your 12 hour shift, some places better than others with breaks. You could be doing absolutely nothing at work and they still wont send you home. Also if you call up sick you need to get an emergency doctors certificate (broken leg etc.) and if you do not than there will be a 30 pound fee which comes out of your pay. Most of the time when you’re sick and can’t go to work is because you have a migraine, vomiting etc, those things can’t get you an emergency certificate so you are almost certain to lose that 30pound you worked a few hours for. If you finish at 3am than its your problem with getting home late at night, I hated that the most, as anything could happen to someone, especially a young girl roaming the streets at night alone in a place so unfamiliar. If the work was positive and the people were nice it wouldn’t have been so bad but the environment was disgusting. You would get spoken to like dirt, treated like a slave and basically everything you did was not good enough. Some of my friends even went home early as the work made them feel so depressed and home sick that they couldn’t bare it anymore.
You also have to set up your own bank account, all they do is book an appointment, Oh an 10 other peoples appointments at the same time, so some people missed theirs as the bank was closing. The SIM card you get is shit, don’t even bother with it. You pay a deposit at the hostel of 30pound which most people forget about and they never remind you so unless you nag them for it they will give it to you. It took me a few weeks to get mine back when I had asked for it. Friends who had moved out of their accommodation and requested their 200pound deposit back from WHC didn’t get it until about 2 weeks later, which is ridiculous as new people are constantly flowing in. The girls who do your roster are very rude and childish, abusing people if they couldn’t make their shift because they were sick. They would say things like ‘you have to go to your shift’, ‘so disappointed in you’, ‘If i were doing your roster I wouldn’t give you shifts at all’. They can add and change your shifts anywhere up until 8pm the night before. They tell you the uniform is cheap to buy when really its not, probably over 100pound I spent and that was even going to Primark and Shoe Zone. You’d think you’d get it for free considering we payed $700. They also reputedly explain how your pay is much higher than most places, in some cases yes but a lot of other jobs pay higher amounts.
In other words, after my massive negative essay I am assuming you understand what im trying to say, do not go through the WHC.
I have seen his blog post, thought I would contribute. My daughter Alisha went with the working holiday people in 2014 and it was great for her. I was recommending this company to one of my friends when this post was brought to my attention. - disgusted so say the very least
Firstly, I am sure if it was not so complicated to set up post account people would post here to support them. It is rather disappointing to see forums like this, you are discouraging young people from travelling or seeking help to get over the initial fears to travel. Perhaps you should screen your bloggers.
Lets be real, work is never fun, when are employers ever a barrel of laughs? I can derive from this post that the blogger signed up for a working holiday support program and expected a rainbows. Unrealistic expectations of what it’s like to leave home and work in London and all it offers is the real issue.
I know the team at the working holiday club well, they really help me with Alisha when she was overseas. I was truly disappointed to see that blog. The job paid ok, the rent was affordable and Alisha
Readers, don’t be discouraged by a blog written by a person who has had a bad experience travelling, ultimately we are all the masters of our own universe. These guys provide you with some tools, it is up to you to make it work.
My name is Locky and I went over to Londonwith the Working Holiday Club.
I spent two years living in London over 2012-2013. It was without a doubt the greatest experience of my life and it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of The Working Holiday Club.
I am from a small country town in NSW of about 7000 people and I decided to make the move to London by myself. So it is fair to say I was just a little bit nervous. When I arrived at Heathrow not knowing what I was getting myself into I made my way to my hostel that The Working holiday Club had organised for me, when I checked into my room I was greeted by 3 people, 2 of them I ended up moving into a house with and all 3 of them I still call extremely close friends!!
Within a week of being in London I had found myself a room in a shared house, had my training for my new job in the 5 star hotels and already made myself a heap of new friends. My first shift was at a hotel called The Corinthia, it was an extremely nice hotel, my first shift was very fun and social. There are many benefits of working in the 5 star hotels, the main one being able to meet and work with some amazing people. Being able to meet all the other young Australians and New Zealanders that have gone over with the Working Holiday Club that are living in the other share houses was one of the biggest benefits. Some of the areas that I was able to work in at the hotels were, Food Service, Bar work and Room Service.
I now work for the Working Holiday Club as UK consultant please don’t hesitate to give me a call or shoot me an email if you have any questions at all about the Jumpstart London packages as I am more than happy to answer any questions you may have.
Fellow Traveller’s! Having seen the mixed reviews about WHC, I wanted to share my experiences in hope it will help fellow travellers, so here goes….
I’m currently living in London, and moved here about 7 months ago with WHC and the Jumpstart program. It all went relatively smoothly, but fair enough to say that not everyone has the same experience. I found Andrew from their London HQ to be a great contact to have in London to help me get set up, not only on arrival, but before leaving home. The amount of emails I sent to that poor guy….. I didn’t particularly enjoy the hospitality work when I first started either, but after a few months I was hired to work directly for an events team, and now love it. 12 hour shifts are a ball ache, but from my point of view they are better than no shifts….Being a rugby fan, I’m pretty stoked to be working at Twickenham for the Rugby World Cup (100 days and counting!).
As for the grotty hostel mentioned, I can’t say I had a similar experience. WHC booked me and all the others from my group at Generator London. There was definitely no mushrooms, although now I kind wish there was (anything for free, right?!) Perhaps this part of there package has since changed….
My accommodation wasn’t primo, but it was cheap and flexible. I’d prefer to pay £98 per week and have money for travelling rather than paying £170 per week and have sweet F.A. left for festivals and tours. Travelling was my goal, and this is what needed to be done sacrificed to achieve it.
In regards to some of the negative posts above, I share the same sentiment as others who have since replied. Some people love it, some people hate it, but I personally feel that much of that is up to your own attitude and how you approach moving to a new city like London.
My advice as a Londoner of 7 months or so? Keep your savings for travelling, don’t get sucked into the London party scene too much otherwise you’ll never see as much as Europe as you’d originally planned. London as a city has no tolerance for laziness or complacency. Competition for everything is tough - accommodation, jobs, even a seat on the bloody tube or at a restaurant doesn’t come easily. If you don’t show for work, no one is going to come and nanny you out of bed and hold your hand, they’ll choose from the other 100’s of people that want to earn money. I learnt fairly quickly that I needed to toughen up to make it in this city, and having the support of WHC helped hugely.
Do your research, come over with an open mind and get ready for the ride! I’ve personally recommended WHC (Andrew, Nick & John) to a few friends, as my adventure wouldn’t have been possible without them, and would recommend anyone looking to move to London to do the same
Cheers to you WHC, keep on rockin!
Well said OurMoore