Around 2,000 Britons who live and work at ski resorts could be forced to return home after the government revoked an agreement allowing them to work in the EU after December 31.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has withdrawn from the Eurotest, the common training test that Britain helped to develop which qualifies ski instructors in Europe.
This means that top level ski instructors can remain in the EU but all others will have to return to the UK after December 31.
The decision has led to some instructors, including Britons who have spent several years working in the industry, to try and attempt to do the test in December.
However, they have no guarantees that they’ll be able to try again in the new year if they fail.
Top level ski instructors can remain in the EU but all others will have to return to the UK after December 31 (file photo)
To achieve the top Level 4 qualification the instructors will have to beat the clock in a giant slalom race on the slopes above the resort of Alpe d’Huez on December 13.
It sees a World Cup racer set off first and record a time which the instructors must get within 24 per cent of.
They will get two runs at it, and if their time is not fast enough, then they will be forced to leave their careers after December 31.
One of those affected is Natasha Edwards, 31, who has spent seven years in the Alps training to become a professional ski instructor.
If she fails in the slalom on December 13, she will be forced to return to Cheltenham to work in property development and will have to leave behind the Alps and her ski instructor British boyfriend.
To achieve the top Level 4 qualification the instructors will have to beat the clock in a giant slalom race on the slopes above the resort of Alpe d’Huez on December 13 (stock photo)
She told the Times: ‘It’s very disappointing. I’ve been working for so many years towards something, and suddenly I’ve been told that actually this qualification might not be recognised at all. That’s like doing a degree or two and just being told: ‘That doesn’t count for anything now. You can’t use it.’ It’s basically a big waste of my twenties.’
Emma Spruce, 26, from Fareham in Hampshire, set her heart on becoming a ski instructor as a child taking family holidays in Val d’Isère.
So far, she has spent four years working her way through the qualifications and is just weeks away from finally qualifying.
She will join Natasha at the final slalom and admits she has spent ‘too much money’ and ‘too much time’ to go back to England.
Lord Moynihan, a former sports minister and chairman of the British Olympic Association, said: ‘I am unclear why the government [is] not seeking to protect employment opportunities for ski instructors, given that we are a major financial contributor to the success of this sector in the Alps and the Pyrenees.’