SWIZERLAND

Employment

To work and reside in Switzerland you will need a residence permit (aufenthaltsbewilligung / autorisation de séjour). The Permis A is a permit available to EU nationals that allows them to stay in Switzerland for nine months of one year and it is very advisable to obtain one because police are strict in their enforcement of the law, especially in holiday resorts where many travellers are attracted to for work. It is important to bear in mind that a lot of employers in Switzerland expect high standards and often long hours of work from their employees. Nevertheless, you can expect higher wages than in a lot of European countries, but with this goes the high cost of living.

Stagiaires

Stagiaires are temporary work placements lasting up to 18 months, organised through the Department of Employment's Overseas Labour Service.

Hotels

EU students of over 18 years old and with a good working knowledge of German can join the Swiss Hotel Association's Hoteljob scheme. Work runs from June to September and accommodation and meals are provided. The salary is about SFr2350 (approx. £1063). Contact the Swiss Hotel Association for more details.

Resorts

One of Switzerland's main areas of tourism is in the Alps. The Jobs in the Alps agency can place people in ski resorts as waitresses, kitchen staff, porters etc. Workers can expect to earn up to £500 and will be required to work for approximately 45 hours a week. Instead of going through an agency it is also possible to find on-the-spot jobs. Visit resorts and owners at the beginning of the season, usually April time is recommended. Furthermore, it is worth checking newspapers, tourist offices and notice boards to look for vacancies. Know where the resorts are before leaving to look for work; Leysin, Thyon and Verbier are all popular places with resorts where you may be able to find this type of work.

Campsites

Several British and European camping agencies operate throughout Switzerland, and again most jobs can be found during the peak tourist times in the summer. Eurocamp arranges work for couriers on Swiss campsites. It is preferred that you can speak another European language well because the job involves welcoming and interacting with a range of visiting nationalities. Employees must be over 18, and can anticipate earning approximately £95 per week.

Agricultural Work

The Upper Rhone Valley, Valais, and Bern are places where fruit-pickers may be needed during harvest-time. You could find work by going in person to farms and enquiring for vacancies from the landowners. Wages vary depending on how much you pick, its worth at market, or how long it takes. If this type of work particularly appeals to you, a voluntary organisation, WWWOOF, places volunteers on organic farms, including those in Switzerland. Membership to WWOOF is £10 per year, and working for them secures you accommodation and meals during your placement.

Au Pairing

For between 12 and 18 months female Western Europeans and North Americans can become au pairs for a Swiss family. Regulations for au pairs vary between cantons in Switzerland, but generally you must be aged between 17 and 29 and your host family will need to apply for a Permis B for you and you will not be allowed to enter Switzerland until the application process is complete. Swiss au pairs work thirty or more hours a week and will be required to spend some evenings babysitting as well as spending up to 4 hours a week in language tuition. Au pairs in Switzerland can expect to earn between SFr600 and SFr700 per month (approx. £271 to £317) which is considerably more than in a lot of European countries, but remember that although wages are high, so are the costs of living. Geneva and Zürich are the most popular places to find au pair work. Pro Filia is an agency that can find one-year placements for those with a good knowledge of French (the application form must be completed in French) in Geneva. Monthly wages are around SFr710 (approx. £321) but a registration fee is required to join Pro Filia. Other than working in the city, au pair placements can be found in ski resorts, and also in the country, although here you may be required to do agricultural work as well as typical au pairing duties.

Volunteering

Camphill Communities run volunteer placements throughout the world, including Switzerland. Volunteers work in communities with adults with special needs. You will be expected to work for 6 days a week and it is usually preferred that you stay for at least one year. Accommodation is provided for the duration of your stay, but you will have to fund your own meals. WWOOF, already mentioned, is an organization placing volunteers on work projects on organic farms.

Useful Links

Swisshotels.ch provides information (in Swiss German) about placements with the Swiss Hotel Association.

Jobs-in-the-alps is the best site for obtaining work in the Swiss ski resorts.

Eurocamp are a major seasonal employer.

Wwoof.org gives information of voluntary work available on organic farms.

Pro Filia is a leading Swiss au pair agency.

Callan Projects provides a database of links to various Camphill communities around the world.