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Outward Bound Searching For More Outdoor-loving Kiwis For New Instructor Roles

The impact of New Zealand’s closed borders has reached Outward Bound, with the outdoor education charitable trust reporting a reduced international talent pool applying for outdoor instructor roles this year resulting in more opportunities for adventure-loving Kiwis to fill the void.

The Marlborough Sounds-based school usually recruits approximately 75 percent of New Zealanders for their annual intake of new outdoor instructors and has previously relied on instructors from abroad to make up the balance.

Outward Bound training manager Sharon Nicholas says their annual recruitment campaign for up to ten new instructors has seen fewer international applications than expected for the highly coveted roles, and presents a rich opportunity for more New Zealanders to apply.

“The ‘Hillary Effect’ means Kiwis have grown up in the outdoors, and consider going to the beach or knocking off a ‘Great Walk’ as part of their cultural DNA. Every year we have a steady stream of Kiwis applying for roles, but as the instructor positions are considered desirable by people working in the outdoor industry, candidate numbers have normally exceeded the roles we have available,” says Sharon.

Sharon says Outward Bound instructors come from a variety of backgrounds and are “exceptional” people.

“Some are already outdoor instructors, teachers or guides, and some come to us for a change in career. Either way they have great life experience, strong soft skills and are able to deliver a programme of outdoor activities, and facilitate powerful learning that transfers back to real life.”

She says currently Outward Bound employs 28 instructors who live on site in purpose-built staff accommodation.

“We accommodate our instructors’ partners and families too, with everyone welcomed into a lively community of like-minded people who make the most of living in a naturally spectacular seaside location and all that our bush, mountains and waterways have to offer.”

There are opportunities for instructors to work a range of different course programmes delivered to teenagers, adult students, Tangata Whenua and business leaders.

“Our criteria is to recruit people who are passionate about working with all people, have experience and skills for working in the outdoors, have or are able to get instructing qualifications, and are able to inspire others to learn and grow.”

She said that while an outdoor education qualification is desirable, it is not essential.

“We recruit instructors with solid experience in two out of the following key areas; tramping, white water kayaking and sailing, and ideally have experience as an educator or facilitator.”

Up to 14 potential instructors will be invited to attend a five-day staff selection course in February 2021.

Applications close 31 January 2021, unless the selection course is filled prior to this date.

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