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The Eagle’s Nest Field Study Centre
Cévennes, France

Jobs

Current positions available with Discover are:

Seasonal Staff April to October (or part thereof

Catering

The Eagles Nest Field Study Centre was originally a Colonie de Vacances for French children from the town of Alès. After being closed it was acquired by Discover Ltd in 1986 to use as a base in France. It is located at 1314 metres above sea level and is the last building as you travel up the south facing Souteyran valley before reaching the Col de Finiels (1514m) and the summit of Mont Lozere (1699m). Whilst the building is not the most attractive in the valley, its proximity to the core zone of the ‘Parc National des Cevennes’ gives it unrivalled fieldwork opportunities.

The centre operates from March to October each year, catering to fieldwork groups visiting from both the UK and mainland Europe. We normally expect to receive between 900 and 1000 customers during this time period, the centre having a maximum capacity of 100 typically in 2 sittings so circa 50 at a time.

The centre is in a mountainous position (1300m) and you will be exposed to everything that the weather can throw at us! The climate is therefore more extreme than most people experience in the UK.

In the past we have had a range of people fulfill the catering positions (2 of them) from professional chefs to competent cooks, who have in part trained on the job, with help from ourselves, for example an ex bank manager fulfilled the position in the past.

The Job – General Assistant

We tend not to use formal job descriptions within the organisation. We prefer that people will bring and develop their own skills and experiences within a broad framework.

The Successful Applicant … would be expected to:

  • Help with food preparation serving/washing up for our client groups – up to 50 people at a sitting.
  • Carry out daily and weekly cleaning duties around the centre.
  • Take a turn in the daily collection of bread from the local bakery (driving required).
  • Assist with the running of the centre bar in the evening (normally 21.30h to 23.00h). Usually this is one evening per week.
  • Greeting and saying farewell to groups on arrival and departure.
  • Be involved in centre maintenance and building work during non-holiday weeks (‘project weeks’) when groups are not in residence.
  • Assist with the setting up and closing down of the centre at the start and end of the season.

There is always the opportunity to bring your own skills and ideas.

Essential Skills

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Ability to work successfully on own or in small team
  • Able to build a good relationship with colleagues, visiting staff and students
  • Willing to work unsocial hours at some times
  • Common sense and ability to work safely and to ensure the safety of others
  • Ability to live and work in a remote mountain environment

NB

  • All positions are subject to a Disclosure and Barring Service Check at Enhanced level
  • All successful applicants need hold a passport, EHIC and be entitled to work in the EU

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of working in an environment with young people.
  • Ability to speak some French.
  • Interest in the outdoor environment.
  • Full driving licence (useful but not obligatory for the not required by the post, but useful due to the isolated position of the centre).

What’s in it for you?

The positions are not for somebody who is interested solely in financial gain. The wage for 2016 will be £120–£150 per week depending on experience (chef/cooks position can be discussed), plus a discretionary bonus at the end of the season. Although the wage may be a significant reduction in your present (or expected) salary, most people find they have sufficient money and can live well in the local area. Wages are paid through the UK office so are subject to UK tax and National Insurance contributions. You therefore need to have a UK bank/building society account, although some of your wages can be paid to you in cash locally.

Accommodation, travel to the centre, electricity/heating, travel insurance are all included in the package. Accommodation will either be in the shared staff house (the lodge) or in a caravan, depending upon preferences and availability.

Two weeks paid leave are given during the season, to be taken when there are no groups in residence. In addition, there is a period of unpaid leave of five to six weeks in late July/August, when the centre is closed to groups. During this period, you are expected to be on leave off-site (although can be discussed). However, people with the right skills could be employed on projects at the centre during this time. This would be discussed at interview.

A travel insurance policy is taken out to cover emergency treatment/travel in France and Europe.

We try and organise a number of staff social trips. These have included caving, canyoning, shopping, beach trips, canoeing and meals out.

We believe the job offers a great deal to the right person, with a lifestyle that is hard to beat in the UK. We are also normally able to offer employment to partners either on the academic or domestic side of the business. This can be discussed at interview.

To apply, please complete the application form below and send with a copy of your CV and a covering letter to:

Gilly McHugo

Documents relative to the post: