Finishing your ski season? What next?

Fed up of the cold and craving some sunshine? Want to travel the world? As we are getting to the end of the ski season, it’s common for seasonaires to wonder what to do next and how to progress their careers during the summer season. Never fear, we’re here to answer that question! Below is a selection of options we think would be great ways to fill your summer, develop your experience, all while having lots of fun!

Option One – Stay in the alps – Come work in a summer chalet!

You’ve fallen in love with the mountains over your ski season and couldn’t think of living or working anywhere else – who could blame you? There are certainly jobs available for chalet staff over the summer period, they’re a lot rarer than ski season roles, however, they are out there! Morzine, Les Gets and Chamonix are just as busy during the summer as the winter, and with a whole range of summer sports to get involved with, whether it is hiking, cycling, climbing or photography, there’ll always be an adventure waiting for you.

We currently have a selection of roles in the alps and get more requests for staff every single week. Click here to see what we have available now:

Option Two – Stay in Europe – Come work in a summer villa!

Work in a summer villa is very comparable to chalet work, the staff roles are similar, and the positions are completely transferable, unlike in a private household. The wages are slightly higher too, on average £100 more a week, this is usually to account for a lift pass not being included in the pay packet. Working in a villa is the perfect way to fill your summer, save up some money, and progress your career ready for when you can hit the slopes again.

We get new summer vacancies in every week for all sorts of roles! Come check them out here:

Option Three – Leave the Alps – Come work in a private household in the UK!

If you’d like to continue a hospitality role but be back working in the UK during the summer, we’d recommend starting your career in a private household. The roles are fairly similar to chalet jobs, yet the salaries are almost double! It’s important for private household applicants to already have lots of 5* hospitality experience.

The easiest way to start a career in a private household is to start at the bottom and work your way up. Very few private households will recruit a medium or high-level staff member without previous experience within a private residence performing a simpler or similar role. The normal progression is from a Housekeeper, Nanny and Cook, to Head Housekeeper and Chef, to House Manager, Butler, PA and even Estate Manager. If, however, you have lots of experience as a Chalet or Resort Manager, you may be eligible for an entry level House Manager role within the private industry.

The salaries possible within a private household are definitely worth the long days, and hard work climbing the ladder, and the experience gained will catapult your career onto a whole new playing field. Private household roles are generally all permanent positions and can be either live-in or live-out, depending on the family, so you have the freedom to select a role which suits your lifestyle and needs. This is also a good opportunity for couples who would like to continue working together, there are many homes who like to employ a couple to manage the household.

We have a large selection of jobs available within Private households. You can see them all here:

Option Four – Leave the Alps – Gain further experience!

Another great option if you’re a  seasonaire returning to the UK is to develop your CV working in hotels and restaurants. The majority of luxury, high end winter chalets require a few years of 5* hospitality experience. If you’re looking to work your way up the ladder in the hospitality industry, we recommend spending the summer gaining further experience to really help you get those top end, well-paid jobs within the industry.

We don’t usually recruit for hotels or restaurants, but if you are interested then it is always worth sending your CV expressing an interest in this kind of role and we can notify you when new roles come in. Remember to send and resend your CV to us at as soon as you have a new role to add to it, to apply for all future roles!


Option Five – Leave the Alps – Come find an office-based role in the UK!

You love the ski industry, and now have experience working within it, but after working all those odd hours on your feet you’re now ready to settle down with a permanent position in an awesome office.

There are often positions working in the UK for recruitment firms, or for companies that work within the ski industry that need staff who have personal experience working a ski season to help sell holidays, find future staff, or help sell chalets out in the Alps.

These jobs get snapped up quickly, so do keep an eye on our FB page as we post new roles every single day! Come follow us here to be the first to hear about all our new positions as soon as they become available:

Option Six – Leave the Alps – Come work aboard a yacht for the summer!

This option takes a little bit of forward planning, as you need to be certified before you can work aboard a yacht. All members of yacht staff need to have an STCW (Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers) Certificate. In order to gain this qualification, you must do a 5-day course which costs approximately £800 – £1000. You must also get an ENG1 Certificate from your local GP, this is a free, seafarer medical fitness certificate. If you don’t yet have these certificates, you’re a little late to get a yacht job for this summer due to the time it takes to accomplish the course and receive the paperwork. However, if yacht work does take your fancy, we recommend doing the courses this summer and contacting us next February once you have a little experience to apply for our summer yacht roles.

If you do have an STCW certificate but are completely new to yachting it is important to note that it is rare that a yacht will pay a recruitment agency for someone without any yachting experience, regardless of the amount of private land-based experience you have. This is because they can easily pick up candidates new to the industry from the docks, so as an agency we won’t be able to help at this stage. But don’t worry! There are plenty of yachts who are happy to employ new yachties, they just can’t justify paying an agency for the introduction.

We recommend checking into a crew house for a couple of weeks in Antibes or Palma and go dock walking to meet boats face to face while being around and socialising with other yacht staff. This is often the easiest route into your first position, and once you then have a little experience, agencies will be much more likely to be able to place you.

If you already have your STCW and have at least one full season of experience working on a yacht, we’d love to hear from you. Please click here to view and apply for our yacht roles:

Option Seven – Go travelling!!

The world is your oyster, why not go explore the four corners of the world and visit places you’ve only ever seen in photos! Just make sure you send us your CV in the summertime, so we can find you a job to come home to next winter season. By May 2018 we will have a whole range of positions available for ski chalets in France, Austria, Switzerland and further. Make sure you add the following link to your favourites so you can check out your future job options while on the road:

How to Show Off Your Superpowers on Your CV

When applying for a job, perfecting your CV is one of the most important steps to success.

Your CV is often the first thing prospective employers or recruiters will see, and if they have been spending all day looking through hundreds of CVs you need to make your CV stand out from the crowd.To do this, there are two aspects to consider, the design of the CV and the content within the CV.

When designing your CV ensure to keep the layout as clear and concise as possible, and try to keep to just two pages. Nowadays, it is so much easier to make your CV visually effective by utilising colour schemes, illustrations and other design elements. If you can make your CV more than just a word document, it will be sure to help you stand out from the crowd. Just remember to tailor the design to your audience – if you’re applying for a creative role then the more imaginative the better, but if you’re applying to a company with more formal and traditional practices stick to just adding in some subtle flairs.

It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to actually writing your CV, but the key thing to remember is that you want to show off your talents and achievements and relate these back to the role you are applying for. Key points to include on your CV are a brief ‘about me’ section and highlights of your previous experience, your major skill set, and how this relates to the roles you are interested in applying for.

One of the difficulties people have when writing their CV is boasting about themselves. Boasting is something that is a generally frowned upon in everyday life, but when applying for a job it is crucial to shine a light on your achievements and talents. After all, if you don’t know one else will.

With this in mind, we decided to look to the superheroes for inspiration on how to show off our own superpowers in our CVs. With the new Avengers: Infinity War movie set to hit the cinemas in April, we have created CVs for some of the most iconic Marvels characters to provide you with inspiration on how you can highlight your own superpowers.

Have a look at our superhero CVs below to gain some extra motivation for your job seeking mission.


Captain America

The Hulk

Black Widow


Iron Man

Black Panther


Looking for your next role? check out our exciting vacancies across ski chalets, summer villas, private households and yachts.

Business People

Everything You Need to Know About Recruiting Millennials in 2018

It was recently revealed that millennials will have on average 15-20 jobs in their lifetime. That is considerably more than the amount of jobs gen x or baby boomer workers will rack up in their lifetime – with these generations generally considered more loyal workers.

With it costing £18,000 to replace each millennial employee, the thought of a job-hopping young workforce is a frightening prospect for employers. However, there are positives to be taken from this news.

With millennials more ambitious and pro-active in the job hunt than generations before them, this means there is an incredible pool of young talent open to the right opportunity. In fact, one study found that 6 in 10 millennials are open to new jobs.

So once you’ve hired them, the question is how do you keep them? Contrary to popular opinion millennials are not simply flaky, disloyal employees – they simply have a clearer idea of the career progression and workplace goals they wish to achieve. If you can provide a millennial employee with the career they’re looking for they can indeed be one of the greatest assets to your workplace.

So, as we begin the New Year we have analysed an array of data sets and surveys to find out everything you need to know to successfully recruit and retain millennials in 2018. Have a look at our findings in the infographic, below.

Infographic about recruiting millennials in 2018

Key Insights

From our analysis there were a number of recurring insights that stood out to us as key in successfully hiring and keeping millennial employees in 2018.


One of the most important traits of millennial workers is that they are ambitious. Our research continually shows that career progression is important to millennials, with over half saying career progression is their top priority, while 87% say development is important in a job.

Ambition can certainly be the reason why many millennials are known for job-hopping, but ambition shouldn’t be a bad trait in an employee unless you’re unwilling to nurture it.

To keep new millennial employees invested in your company make sure to set a clear career path for them so they know what the next steps are and how they can progress within your company.  Promotions and pay rises are likely not something that is always going to be possible in quick succession of an employee starting but taking small measures such as ensuring millennial employees’ opinions are heard and taken on board, allowing them the opportunity to run a meeting, or giving them a small project to lead on, can help ensure your millennial employees feel they are progressing within the company. It is also key to invest in ongoing training and development opportunities for your millennial employees.


Millennials have grown up with much of the technology which baby boomer and gen x employees have learned in the workplace. Therefore, it is interesting to note that millennial employees are the first generation to enter the workplace with a better grasp of key tools than more senior workers. More often than not millennials will pick up new technologies quicker and easier too.

It’s not surprising then that technology is important to millennial employees both during the recruitment process and in the workplace. If you’re looking to recruit millennials make sure to take your candidate search online.

Most successful recruiters are already aware of the importance of online recruitment with 98% of recruiters using LinkedIn as a sourcing tool. If you want to get ahead of the curve add Instagram and Snapchat to your candidate seeking social media tools. In 2017 there was a 3% rise in recruiters using Instagram and this is expected to increase further in 2018.

Once millennials are in the company, they expect technology to be a part of their work day – both for personal and professional use. Over half of millennials say they prefer to communicate electronically at work and this tech-savvy generation are already having an impact on workplace communications with live chat tools and collaboration boards starting to replace the traditional email in many workplaces.

You may wish to also review your policy on use of personal technology, as 56% of millennials say they wouldn’t accept a job from a company that bans social media.

Relaxed Work Environment

Millennials expect a workplace far-removed from the traditional corporate office. For millennials a sociable and fun workplace is a high priority when looking for a job with 90% of millennials saying they expect their workplace to be social and fun, while 88% consider positive culture an important aspect of their dream job.

This can mean many things for millennials, from social events to open work spaces and flexible working hours. Millennials feel that hierarchies in the workplace are outdated and ineffective with 65% saying rigid hierarchies fail to get the most out of young workers.

With a growing number of millennials working freelance and as part of the gig economy, those who do work in an office environment expect flexibility with working hours and place high importance on maintaining a good work/life balance. In fact, 95% of millennials say work/life balance is important and 69% feel office attendance is unnecessary on a regular basis. If you want to keep your millennial staff in-house in 2018 you may wish to look at offering a flexible-hours policy rather than a standard 9-5 working day.

Keep an Open Mind

The key takeaway from our research is that millennial employees can often get bad press, but actually the facts shows that millennial employees could be one of the greatest assets for your business in modern times.  The generation will make up 50% of the global workforce by 2020, so it’s time to start snapping the best ones up now.

entrance gates to mansion in background

A Day in the Life Working on a Private Estate

To some, working on a private estate may seem something out of date, ‘Downton Abbey’ esk and generally something from the past. However, this booming industry is far from it. With more and more individuals training and working towards this luxurious hospitality life style, I thought it would be a good idea to write a short piece about what is actually involved in some of the key roles responsible for running such prestigious estates.  This ‘Day in the Life’ blog will explore the kinds of roles available to you, the day to day chores involved and how it could lead you into a full and fruitful career.

Estates can vary in size from just a few acres to hundreds, therefore roles and responsibilities can vary massively. For the sake of this blog I am going to discuss a 35-acre state with 1 Estate Manager, 1 House Manager, 1 Chef, 1 Butler, 1 Housekeeper and a Gardener.


Estate Manager

 Let’s begin with the bread and butter holding the whole place together. The Estate Manager is pretty much what it says on the tin. However, unless you have Private Household experience, you are unlikely to land yourself this important role. The Principal (the owner/head of the house) needs someone who knows the industry and understands the importance of the smooth running of his/her properties and land.

The role is full on, hands on and often Estate Managers are on call 24/7 however once you have found the right job, this is often a career with longevity, benefits and very substantial pay packet. Some of the day to day activities include: hiring staff, liaising with the House Manager, sourcing and discussing with contractors, administrative tasks including budgeting and planning events and functions.

As you can probably tell this is an extremely wide-ranging and diverse role and although it’s extremely hard work it’s unlikely to ever get boring. Each day is different and if you are looking for a challenge to spice up your career maybe this one is for you.


House Manager

Household managers are usually responsible for planning, organizing and coordinating events, assisting the Estate Manager where necessary. Managing household calendars and schedules, ensuring appointments are met, keeping on top of the house maintenance, arranging extra help where necessary, paying household bills and completing any other administrative tasks.

Also, in this instance the management of the other members of staff is key. From creating rotas to ensuring that tasks are prioritised and completed to the highest of standards. Again, this is a very varied role. It requires high class organisational skills, the ability to multi task and of course people skills.



Private Chefs have total control of their kitchen. Sometimes you will have a sous chef alongside you but more often than not the kitchen is yours. Taking charge of menu planning, sourcing of quality ingredients, grocery shopping and catering for the whole house, this is your time to shine!

Usually you will be catering breakfast lunch and dinner for all members in the home, including children (packed lunches may be part of your role too), and all staff. It’s a great role for someone with passion and a thirst to experiment, you will often be required to cater large dinner parties with the need to impress. Sometimes you will have to cater events, fluctuating from canape receptions, to BBQs and sit-down meals. However, you must remember that you are not catering for just anyone. Often the Principal and their family have specific needs and requirements that are not to be taken lightly. This is a prestigious role in a competitive industry so you must be able to adapt your style and techniques should you need to.



According to the Butlers Guild the Butler is ‘Chief servant of the house.’ The role of the Butler often depends strongly on the formality of the household. Generally, the Butler will assist in the smooth running of the residence however unlike the House Manager this is often on a much more personal level to the Principal. Often the Butler’s role will include (but is definitely not limited to) maintenance jobs around the property, serving food and drink, hosting, assisting with event planning, wine cellar organisation, wardrobe management, greeting and chauffeuring. The role can often involve traveling the world with the Principal, not everyone’s cup of tea but many see this as a huge perk.

In some smaller households, there is no need for a House Manager, the Butler simply mimics the House Manager. Alternatively, in a larger household there could be whole team of Butlers with different responsibilities (e.g. dining room Butler, Pantry Butler etc.).



As a Private Housekeeper, you are expected to complete all basic cleaning duties including vacuuming, dusting, mopping, surface cleaning, ensuring all bathrooms are immaculate, making sure all other areas of the home are clean, neat and tidy. In addition to this, other tasks include taking care for household pets, polishing the silverware (sometimes a task for a Butler). Washing dishes and assisting the chef with cleaning the kitchen to high hygiene standards. You may also be expected to run errands, for example going to the dry cleaners and grocery shopping. It is often the Housekeepers responsibility to organise laundry and purchase cleaning products within budget. Occasionally when events are taking place at the residence, temporary housekeepers will be bought in to assist.

Some households have a specific nanny to take care of the children, but often if the children are at school age, the Housekeeper would assist in this department. Helping them dress in the morning, making sure they have breakfast and generally ensuring they have everything they need.



Last but not least the Gardener. This role doesn’t need much explanation, many private residences have a large amount of woodland grounds which means a full-time job for a very experienced and capable gardener. The role often includes outdoor maintenance including pools, tennis courts, gold courses. It’s a year-round task ensuring the grounds are respectable, colourful and in line with the Principals likes. You will need to be able to work alone and manage your own time while liaising with the Estate Manager regarding external contractors.


These roles are all instrumental in the smooth running of a Private Estate. Often these are ‘live-in’ roles which mean no bills and an easy commute! Experience is key when it comes to Private Households, starting from the bottom and working your way up. There are many different avenues you can come from, spending a season as a Chalet Host or Yacht Steward are both great paths to begin your Private Household carer and here at Silver Swan we can assist. We are specialists in Luxury Chalet, Villa, Yacht and Private Household recruitment. If you are unsure about where you could fit in, get in touch, with our wealth of knowledge and experience we will be able to help guide you into your new career.


chef chopping vegetables

How to Write the Perfect Chalet Menu Plan

For all you Chalet Hosts and Chefs heading out on a Ski Season shortly, it must be that time of year, when you are trying to perfect your weekly menu plan. Knowing that it needs to WOW your guests as well as staying within (what can sometimes be a fairly tight) budget. But don’t worry. This guide will help you to create the perfect plan for the whole week, ensuring your guests get what they want and need. While also being stunned by your culinary genius.


Breakfast needs to be quick, simple, impressive and varied. Remember, a lot of your guests will be wanting to catch first lifts which means early risers and big appetites. Every day the table will be laid with continental options but it is down to you to fuel their day with a hot option.

Most chalets hosts/chefs get 1 day off per week (usually mid-week)so you only need to think of 6 days’ worth of food.Something that looks really impressive, doesn’t always need to be time-consuming. A stack of American pancakes for example. The batter will be quick and simple, plus it’s really easy to batch cook the pancakes and hot hold them in the oven until needed. Giving you more time to prep for your other meals. Alternative ideas include eggs benedict or sausage beans and home-made hash browns.

For transfer day your guests could be leaving very early in the morning so why not opt for big bacon baguettes? A quick fix on a busy morning!

Afternoon Tea

After a big day on the mountain, your guests are going to be starving. Part of your job will be presenting a daily cake (or biscuits). But don’t panic, there’s no need to scour your cookbooks, the well-known yogurt cake is a firm favorite for all chalet staff. Altitude means normal cakes don’t rise properly, but this recipe will never fail you. One day you can add carrot, raisins and spices for a delicious carrot cake, the next you can simply fill it with jam and cream for the perfect Victoria sponge. Simple.

Of course, you can mix this up a bit, mince pies at Christmas, flapjacks on a Friday, but make sure you always make enough. How gutted would you be if you came in last from the mountain and someone had eaten the last slice?!

This is something you need to consider throughout your whole menu plan. You don’t want to waste food but nor do you want your guests to go hungry. Spend some time write out exact ingredients and quantities, this will also help you keep within your budget. Over-ordering can be a nightmare not

just for the purse strings but also for your storage! Make sure you consider where things are going to fit (think about freezer, fridge, and cupboards)




In chalets, dinner is usually 3-5 courses. When planning your main meals, you need to think about the kind of meal this is going to be. Is it a fine dining menu or a homely family style meal? Either way, you want your food to impress everyone, which also means taking into account dietary requirements. You will usually be warned in advance if any of your guests have any specific requirements, but it’s always worth checking in person when they get there. How embarrassing would it be if you served up a steak to a vegetarian because you hadn’t got the memo! Make sure there are always some back up ingredients in the cupboards for any surprise vegetarians, vegans or gluten frees.



A canapé is a small savoury bite usually served with drinks. Note the word small, this should be something they can eat in one bite, they have a big meal ahead and you don’t want your guests full before they’ve even started. You can make something very simple look elaborate without having to use many ingredients at all. Smoked salmon and cream cheese blinis take minutes to make yet when delicately placed on a slate board and topped with a small bit of fresh dill-they suddenly look far more glamorous.

Other ideas include Sticky Pigs in Blankets (particularly suitable around Christmas time) and Mini Croque Monsieurs. As with all of the items on your meal plan, this is a great one to practice at home for friends and family.



It is often a misconception that your starter should be vegetarian, however, to make it easier for yourself, you should make it so that the meat element of the meal is easily substitutable for any dislikes/dietary requirements.

Another factor to think about is the variety of ingredients. You wouldn’t want to serve Tomato and basil soup, followed by chicken tagine and an apple crumble with custard.

  • HOT HOT HOT, you should include at least one cold element in each meal.
  • Two tomatoes-both your started and main are made with a tomato based.
  • All 3 courses contain a fair bit of liquid, mix the textures up a bit.

Suitable starters would be carrot and ginger soup, goats cheese and caramelised onion bruschetta or asparagus, Parma ham with a poached egg.

Main Course

This course needs to be filling and hearty, yet also presentable on a plate. When you are designing your meals, its sometimes useful to draw out how you would present each element on the plate. Choose your meat, carb, veg and sauce, then go from there. You will be plating up for quite a few people in one go so nothing too complicated.

Usually in chalets you will be serving each person an individual plate but occasionally its quite nice to ‘family serve’. I used to make a Tartiflette once a week, a totally delicious, traditional French meal that when whole looks amazing, but not so great when it’s been served up. Pop the whole thing on the table with a charcuterie board and a big leafy salad – your guests will be impressed for sure.


Desserts are simple, there are so many to choose from, most can be prepped in the morning which is a stress saver in the evening (this will help maximise your time on the mountain too).

Again, avoid repetition. You must consider what you have done for afternoon tea, if you have made Chocolate Cake that day, don’t have a Chocolate Brownie for dessert too. Maybe chose a Lemon Cheesecake for dessert. Similarly, a Tarte Tatin on Monday followed by an Apple Crumble on Tuesday = Apple overload! Mix it up.  Just like the canapés, desserts are easy to dress up, add a coulis or petit four on the side to amaze your guests. Something very simple can then become a showpiece.


Cheese Board

There is not much to say about the cheese board, just make sure you get a variety. 3 different cheeses should be enough, remember they’ve had a big meal. They don’t want to be overwhelmed. Accompany this will some grapes or sliced apple, a small selection of bread and crackers – winner! This can often be left out for a while as people may want to pick throughout the evening with their glass of red wine.


So that is my advice to you!

Organisation is key, make sure you fully understand your own menu,

write a shopping shopping list, you can amend the quantities weekly to avoid over ordering.

Enjoy your season!

Still looking for the perfect role? – CLICK HERE to view our full listing of chalet vacancies












An Interview with a Chalet Chef

Have you ever wanted to do a ski season as a Chalet Chef, but aren’t really sure what to expect? It’s easy to look through stuffy job descriptions or look online for advice and information about what your day-to-day life will be like out in resort, but we’ve gone one step further and have spoken to one of our Chalet Chefs to give you a real-life account of what it’s actually like!

Our chef, Louis, has been doing ski seasons as a Chalet Chef for the past few years, and is just getting ready to start his third winter out in the Alps. He has worked for some of our favourite clients and by this point, has seen it all when it comes to awkward guests, kitchen disasters and housekeeping duties.

We asked Louis what made him want to do his first ski season?

“Truthfully, I had never been skiing or snowboarding before, but I knew I wanted to go travelling, to explore new places, but I didn’t have the funds for the trip I wanted. I’d been a chef for my whole career, so thought I would look at a way to combine travelling with some work to keep me going. Being flown out to France and looked after for 5/6 months seemed too good to be true! [Most roles include accommodation, transport to resort, food, insurance and your lift pass as part of your salary package] I grabbed the opportunity with both hands and three years later, here I am!”

What does a typical day look like for a Chalet Chef?

“So you usually get up at around 7am, and head to the chalet to start breakfast; sometimes eggs benedict, maybe pancakes, etc. and always a full continental spread. Meanwhile, you’re making up your afternoon tea, and getting some prep done for that evening’s meal (if you haven’t already started it the day before). I always try and get as much done in the morning as you can. Between you and your host, you need to turn the chalet over so it looks brand new, which involves making the beds, hoovering, general cleaning and tidying, and then I’d say you’re usually out the door for 11 am. This means you can be on the mountain, suited up for 12pm! I’m a snowboarder, so me and my boys go off to shred some pow for a couple of hours, then head back home for a napres (nap + après!). Around 5pm it’s time to head back to the chalet to finish preparing dinner, then it’s time to serve your 4/5-course meal. Afterwards, it’s important to clean down, before you go home, (either to party or sleep) and start the whole day again tomorrow!”

What is the one dish that all guests love in your chalet?  

“I have a lamb dish that always hits the spot. It is lamb, braised in red wine, rolled into rich lean ballotines. The braising liquid is then stained and turned into a spicy, Moroccan-style tomato and mustard sauce to drizzle over the lamb, and it is accompanied by crispy kale, sautéed kohlrabi and a Harissa yogurt. It’s a warming, filling and tasty dish that everyone likes (except the vegetarians of course).

Why did you use Silver Swan to help you find your roles?

“I’ve worked for agencies in the past – for almost 6 years now. I like to let them look for my work as they often find things that are a bit different. My first conversation with Philippa was back in 2015. She told me some very exiting things about what chalet cheffing is about, how it differs from standard cooking roles, and what is on offer in terms of progression. I was sold immediately. I’m now using Silver Swan for the 3rd year running and I’ve definitely progressed every year, in style, level, responsibility and wage.”

What other opportunities have opened up for you as a result of your ski seasons?

“ I would say that employers now take me on simply based on the fact that I’ve worked in some luxury chalets alone. I have a chef friend who wanted to see the type of work I get up to on my seasons, and so he hired me several times to do private functions for him in Cornwall. It also means when I feel I’m ready to move onto Yachts, my experience in the Alps will be invaluable, as they usually need previous fine dining and private cheffing experience. To be honest, it’s probably opened more doors then I’m even fully aware of over the summers and into the future.”

So there you have it! What to expect from a winter season, straight from a Chalet Chef himself. We couldn’t recommend a ski season enough to give you a great experience, meet new friends and, as Louis says, to open up doors for future career moves that you may never have thought of before. We recruit chefs (and many other positions!) for a range of properties in the Alps, from private chalets to luxury tour operators…and even entry-level positions for new chefs and cook/hosts. If you are interested in working in a chalet for the winter, then now is a great time to get in touch with your CV and a bit of information about what you are looking for. You can browse our vacancies here, or simply send us over your details to We can then help you start your career in the ski industry!

desk with phone, notepad and laptop

What Is A DBS, Do You Need It & How Do You Get One?

If you are working within the Private Household industry you will most likely have come across DBS checks or CRB checks at some point. It is becoming increasingly more common for families to request a full criminal record check be carried out prior to having new members of staff join their households.


What is a DBS Check?

A DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check, once known as the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check, is becoming more and more important when working within the Private Household industry. Majority of positions will request all candidates to have a valid DBS certificate before starting in the role. The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. There are 3 tiers of DBS Checks available:

  • BASIC DBS – the lowest level of disclosure which checks the Police National Computer for details of all current criminal convictions. Often used to support an immigration application, to vet prospective tenants or to volunteer.
  • STANDARD DBS – covers those working in other occupations to children, vulnerable adults and the elderly but where they need to be of ‘good character’ and not have a criminal record. This could include someone applying to be employed as an accountant, working in a pharmacy or legal practice, someone applying for a firearms license or a senior manager at a bank or financial services organisation. Organisations employing someone in this sort of position want to assure themselves that the people they are considering haven’t got a lengthy criminal record for dishonesty, drugs offences or violent crimes.
  • ENHANCED DBS – the highest level of disclosure required for those positions that can involve caring for, training, supervising or being in sole charge of children or vulnerable adults. An Enhanced CRB will show the following offences: sexual, violence, the supply of drugs and safeguarding.


Who Needs a DBS Check?

If there is ever a safeguarding issue within your household or organisation and the people working or volunteering with children and/or vulnerable adults have not been adequately checked, you could be held legally liable. To prevent this possibility SAFE advises standard or enhanced DBS checks are conducted on all eligible staff and volunteers within your home or organisation.


How to Apply for a DBS Check

 Most recruitment agencies will be able to apply for a DBS Check on your behalf as part of your application process. If you are not working with a recruitment agency then you can apply for a Basic DBS Check yourself, only an organisation is able to apply for a Standard or Enhanced DBS Check –all checks can be applied using this ONLINE APPLICATION FORM.


How Long Will a DBS Check Take?

You should normally receive a copy of your DBS Check with FOUR WEEKS, however, do be aware that at certain times of the year, the DBS has a backlog of applications to process which may cause a delay in their response. Enhanced checks may take longer.


How Long Does a DBS Last?

A DBS has no official expiry date however SAFE recommends that all DBS checks be renewed at least once every 3 YEARS or sooner if there has been a significant gap in employment.


How Much Does a DBS Cost?

Basic DBS – £45.49

Standard DBS – £55.49

Enhanced DBS – £68. 49


What do you Need for a DBS Check?

You must provide a range of ID documents as part of the DBS check application process. There are 3 routes of ID checking:

ROUTE 1 – All applicants must initially be considered for route one.

  • 1 document from group 1 (refer to list of valid identity documents below); and
  • 2 further documents from group 1, 2a or 2b

At least 1 of the 3 documents above must show the applicant’s current address.

ROUTE 2 – 3 documents from group 2 consisting of;

  • 1 document from group 2a; and
  • 2 further documents from group 2a or 2b; one of which must verify their current address

ROUTE 3 – Birth Certificate (UK & Channel Islands) AND 4 further documents from group 2 consisting of;

  • 1 document from group 2a; and
  • 3 further documents from group 2a or 2b; one of which must verify their current address.


DBS List of Acceptable Identification

Group 1: Primary Trusted Identity Credentials

  • Current valid passport
  • Biometric Residence Permit (UK)
  • Current driving licence (UK), full or provisional. Photo card only for Isle of Man/Channel Islands licences, which should be presented with the associated counterpart licence (except Jersey)
  • Birth certificate (UK and Channel Islands), issued at the time of birth. The full and short forms are both acceptable, including those issued by UK authorities overseas, eg Embassies, High Commissions and HM Forces (photocopies are not acceptable).

Group 2a: Trusted Government/State Issued Documents

  • Current UK driving licence (old style paper version)
  • Current non-UK photo driving licence (valid for up to 12 months from the date you entered the UK)
  • Birth certificate (UK and Channel Islands) issued after the time of birth by the General Register Office/relevant authority (photocopies are not acceptable)
  • Marriage/civil partnership certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Adoption Certificate (UK and Channel Islands)
  • HM Forces ID card (UK)
  • Firearms Licence (UK and Channel Islands)

Group 2b: Financial/Social History Documents

  • Mortgage statement (UK or EEA – non-EEA statements are not acceptable)
  • Bank/building society statement (UK and Channel Islands or EEA – non-EEA statements are not acceptable)
  • Bank/building society account opening confirmation letter (UK)
  • Credit card statement (UK or EEA – non-EEA statements are not acceptable)
  • Financial statement, eg pension, endowment, ISA (UK)
  • P45/P60 statement (UK and Channel Islands)
  • Council Tax statement (UK and Channel Islands).
  • Work Permit/Visa (UK – UK Residence Permit, valid up to expiry date)
  • Letter of sponsorship from future employment provider (non-UK/non-EEA only – valid only for applicants residing outside of the UK at time of application)
  • Utility bill (UK), not including a mobile telephone bill
  • Benefits statement, eg Child Allowance, Pension
  • A document from central/local government authority or agency giving entitlement, eg from the Department for Work and Pensions, the Employment Service, HM Revenue and Customs, Job Centre, Job Centre Plus, Social Security (UK and Channel Islands)
  • EU National ID Card.
  • Cards carrying the PASS accreditation logo (UK and Channel Islands)


Silver Swan Recruitment has a number of Private Household Jobs currently available and we are able to apply for your Enhanced DBS Check as part of your application process. Simply get in touch to discuss further.

Co Work Borough Office

Join the Silver Swan Team!

Job of the Week – Monday 4th September 2017

Our #joboftheweek is extra exciting as it is an opportunity for someone to join the team here at Silver Swan!

We are recruiting for a Resourcer/Trainee Consultant to work alongside us in the London office, so if you have experience in the private household, yacht or chalet industry, get in touch at

Check out the job description here….

How Do I Apply?

If you are interested in this opportunity, send your CVs to

Not for you? Then have a browse through all our other vacancies HERE.


Here’s How to Write a Great CV

cookery school

Our pick of the Cookery Schools

There’s a cookery course out there for everyone – from one-day sessions in Italian cuisine, to year-long diplomas costing thousands. A cookery course isn’t necessarily essential to secure a role in a chalet, but they can really give you a great foundation to progress into a cooking career. There are hundreds of courses available, so we have selected some of the best and most advanced options for serious cooks and budding chefs. There are plenty of others we haven’t mentioned, including Abingers, Lakefield or Orchards Cookery School, who teach basic skills on a one-week course – more suited to Chalet Hosts and first-time seasonnaires. Aside this is a whole host of course attached to famous names including Raymond Blanc’s or Jamie Oliver’s Cookery School to name a few. We’d always advise looking into each course thoroughly to find the one that will serve you best for your intended aim, but to give you an overview, here is our pick of some of the best out there…



Leith’s is one of the best-known cookery schools around and their professional courses are renowned in the food industry. It’s a great option for those who are really looking to start a career in food and cooking, giving students a full toolbox of skills. They do a foundation or advanced certificate in food and wine, and an essential evening cooking course, but their standout course is the 9-month diploma. With the diploma, students get training in all areas of food and wine, menu planning, budgeting, food trends…basically everything you need to start a career in food! The teachers are all highly experienced and there’s a maximum of eight students in a class, so you will get professional, personal guidance. Prices obviously vary depending on which course you do and more info can be found at the link above.

Ballymaloe Cookery School 


For budding chefs over in Ireland, the Ballymaloe Cookery School has a great reputation and has been running courses for nearly 35 years. They are best known for their 12-week certificate, which is a great stepping-stone into cookery. They have a student to teacher ratio of 6:1, which guarantees students expert tuition and personal attention. They also have their own organic farm, which supplies a huge amount of the produce for the course – students get to cook daily with fresh, quality ingredients!

The school was set up by Darina Allen and her brother Rory O’Connell.  She was well established already as the author of multiple books and presenter on 6 Television series, and they are now considered to be the home of Irish Country cuisine and hospitality. Alongside their 12-week certificate, there are various short courses on offer, from half-day to month-long options.

Le Cordon Bleu 


You’ve heard the saying…this really is the “Cordon Bleu” of cookery schools…literally! This renowned cookery school teaches the fundamental techniques in classic cooking and the art of pastry, bread, wine and nutrition. The diploma is recognised around the world and is respected by professionals and experts in the industry – some of whom may even be teaching you! The facilities and equipment at Le Cordon Bleu are also some of the most advanced around and allow students to learn French classical cooking as well as more modern techniques (think water baths, tandoori ovens and a professional wine tasting room). It’s no wonder Le Cordon Bleu is so well known having been founded in 1895 and their Le Grand Diplome is their most intense and comprehensive programme available. Based in London, this course doesn’t come cheap, but for serious wannabe-chefs this is the place to learn traditional French techniques and innovative culinary skills.


The Ashburton Cookery School is one of the UK’s top cookery schools with over 40 courses to choose from. Ranging from courses for beginners to established chefs, they are run by professionals who will take your cooking skills to the next level. They have either foundation, intermediate or advanced levels, the latter of which is suited for students looking to cook to a fine-dining level. But for those with a real passion for cooking and starting a career in the industry, the Chef’s Academy is the course for you, to learn fundamental skills, techniques and to wow with inspirational dishes. You can become a fully qualified chef in 6 months with their Professional Culinary Diploma, an intense course that could turn your passion into a career, or simply choose a four-week Certificate in Professional Cookery – all with the option to stay in the beautiful surroundings of the cookery school residences.

Tante Marie

Tante Marie is another long-standing cookery school in the UK, which has been running for over 60 years. Again, it has a great reputation and students like that they focus entirely on practical cooking skills. Their flagship Cordon Bleu Diploma doesn’t come cheap (coming in at just over £20k) but it’s for those who are serious about food and looking to take the first steps towards a career in food and drink. The diploma is internationally recognised and runs for a year, teaching a range of culinary skills and techniques. They also run an Intensive Cordon Bleu Diploma, which results in a professional qualification in cookery, or gap year courses, including a Chalet Cooks Academy – perfect to set you up for a ski season. This course, costing £2,400 covers essential skills across different areas of cookery giving students the knowledge to cook great food (and perfect their hosting skills) for a chalet environment.

So do your research, make sure the course is right for you and get stuck in to really get the best out of what’s on offer. You never know where it might lead…!

Silver Swan are going to be at the Cordon Bleu job fair meeting lots of potential new candidates – we’re hoping to register a number of new and experienced chefs and get them on our books for winter work. Hope to see some new graduates there!