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Youth Hostels Association


United Kingdom

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The Youth Hostels Association (YHA) is a charity which offers accommodation at youth hostels all over England and Wales.

The YHA was set up in April 1930 with a stated objective to:

“Help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, particularly by providing hostels or other simple accommodation for them in their travels, and thus to promote their health, rest and education.”

We are now one of the top fifty charitable organisations in the United Kingdom and are part of a wider international federation of hostel associations known as Hostelling International.

Working for the Youth Hostels Association

Team Member

As a team member working as part of the Youth Hostels Association you can do seasonal work, part time jobs and full time temporary work.

Some posts require that you live in, while others are posts where you come and go each day. Gap year students and graduates perhaps looking to boost their CV couple benefit greatly from working in a full time role as a team member or even a team leader, depending on your experience.

So what would your duties be if you worked as a team member at the Youth Hostels Association?

Well the good news is, despite the hard but rewarding work, team members who work full time hours only work a 5-day week. We’ve already said that youth hostels are in some of the most beautiful or vibrant areas of England and Wales so that means you get two days off, every week, to explore your new surroundings.

That could be city centre London, where you can enjoy the shopping, culture and nightlife; it could be a seaside location where you can take in the surf; a rural mansion set in its own grounds; or you might be in your idea of heaven when you are in a remote location where your spare time can be spent trekking the Lakeland fells or kayaking along the rivers and lakes of Wales.

As with other jobs of this type, you are not going to make your fortune working as a team member for the Youth Hostels Association. Expect to earn hourly figures around the current national minimum wage. You will work long hours, greeting guests at reception, you’ll clean dorms, corridors, wash areas - yes, that includes giving the toilets a good scrub - you’ll wear your chef’s hat and show off your cooking skills and you’ll supervise children’s groups in the evenings. More experience means you could become a team leader and run activities for school groups, youth groups and at the YHA summer camps.

There are lots of areas where students and graduates can get involved with helping out at the YHA whilst improving the lives of children and young people, developing your own skill set and meeting guests and workmates from all over the world.

Did you know, 40 different nationalities are currently represented in the workforce of the Youth Hostels Association?

For students and graduates looking for seasonal work, the Youth Hostels Association also runs summer camps for children and young people between the ages of 10-19.

Activities are supervised by qualified outdoor instructors so this would be a good position for those with previous experience in this field. The 5 night summer camps offer children and young people the chance to take part in horse riding activities, eco adventure camps, performing arts and more extreme sports.

Volunteering for the Youth Hostels Association

Have you thought about volunteering for the Youth Hostels Association? Students and graduates who undertake volunteering programmes can gain valuable work experience and enhance their CV for future job and career applications. As a charity, the YHA has a highly established volunteer programme and has around 700 volunteers that help out in various areas of the company.

What does a Youth Hostels Association volunteer do?

Well, pretty much everything. If you’ve got a local youth hostel close to where you live, why not drop by to see what’s going on there and see if you can lend a hand?

Volunteering in a youth hostel can give you valuable experience for future jobs and careers; maybe you would like to become an activity instructor in the future, you might need evidence of experience for US summer camp applications, maybe you would like to work with children and young people in the future as a teacher or youth leader, or maybe you would like a full time career within the YHA.

Whatever it is, volunteering always shows your commitment - and you know you’re helping to support a good cause in benefitting other people, the local community and the environment.

Volunteers for the Youth Hostels Association do a lot of the tasks that paid employees do. Examples include reception duties, maintenance and upkeep of the hostel. If you are close to a hostel that has its own grounds or is near an area where conservation work takes place, you can also get involved in this.

Volunteers are also needed in the summer camps that are run for 10-19 year olds. This is a great chance for students to really get stuck in for a few days so you can decide if this type of post is the career for you...or if working with children is really the post for you.

The Youth Hostels Association head office is in Matlock in Derbyshire and, if you live close by, it is also possible to take on some admin volunteer work such as assisting in the membership department.

Have you got a specialism? Students doing degrees in media, photography, architecture, youth work, teaching, ecology, social work, surveying - this is your chance to offer your services and gain yourself some valuable, practical work experience.

The YHA are always seeking voluntary assistance from professionals and soon-to-be professionals - they are a charity, remember. Offer your services and see what you can do for them. You never know what might come of it. And, for those students and graduates of the more creative courses, it is all work for your portfolio.

The Youth Hostels Association also offers week-long work experience placements for students so keep an eye out for those too. You could find yourself taking charge of a small hostel for a week - after a bit of training of course.

Perks of working for the Youth Hostels Association

We’ve already stressed the fabulous additions working for the Youth Hostels Association is going to make on your CV. Live in jobs give you the experience of working away in a new (or familiar) place, helping you to develop your independence and develop your skill set.

You will meet people from all over the world, from all walks of life - an amazing experience for anyone. You will cook, serve, answer the phone, clean, scrub, do the laundry, plan activities and adventures, make life friends, work with kids groups - you’ll probably have the time of your life.

And then there’s also the opportunity to travel. Yes, if you are an employee of the Youth Hostels Association, you get freebie stays at other hostels and free membership to the YHA. That’s youth hostels in over 200 fantastic locations throughout England and Wales. Not bad, eh? Enjoy a bit of shopping? The YHA also offers exclusive retail discounts to its staff.

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If you are interested in joining us at the Youth Hostels Association, then apply for the latest jobs at YHA below right now.

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