Seasonal Paddlesport Instructor

Location: Danbury and Harlow
Salary: From £15,838 per annum pro-rata (£8.21 per hour)
Contact type: Fixed term 4, 6, 8 and 10 month contracts available
Date Added: Tuesday 25 Sep 2018
Closing Date: Thursday 18 Apr 2019

Spend your summer on the water by joining our Seasonal Paddlesport Instructor Team


Essex Outdoors are looking for individuals with boundless energy and enthusiasm to become part of our 2019 seasonal paddlesport instructor team.

Our Instructors have a real passion for the great outdoors and for offering high quality customer service to a range of clients varying from year three school children through to children and adults with special needs. You may even find yourself teaching other adults on qualification courses.

As a Seasonal Paddlesport Instructor you will be delivering a range of water based and land based outdoor activities. From Problem Solving and Archery through to Canoeing, Kayaking and SUP's, there is plenty to keep you entertained. The activities will depend on the centre you are based at, the training programmes arranged for that year and your prior level of qualifications. We aim to train our Seasonal Instructors in as many different activities as possible; a bonus for us as you can cover a greater range of activities but also a plus for you, as you get a much broader level of experience.

For this role you will require a minimum of a BCU/UKCC level 1 coach/Paddlesport Instructor however please remember that you don’t need any previous experience to get on-board with Essex Outdoors at our other centres as a Multi Activity Instructor. We are looking for fun and engaging people that love working with children and in the outdoors. We'll provide an intensive programme of training to give you the skills that will be needed to ensure that both you and our customers have a great experience.

If you come and work for us, you’ll be part of the strong tradition of outdoor education provision which we’ve been delivering to children, young people and adults for over 40 years. During that time we’ve trained many people just like you to run activities from canoeing and climbing through to mountain biking and sailing, with many members of our seasonal teams going on to have successful careers within the outdoor industry, teaching and youth work.

Overview of the job


Essex Outdoors operates from four centres around the county, two of which will be offering paddlesport activities in 2019

Danbury - Is our woodland haven right in the middle of the county with the River Chelmer just minutes down the road. Danbury is a large multi activity centre that offers activities such as aerial trekking, caving, canoeing and quad biking to name but a few.

Harlow - Our urban day centre specialises in Climbing and Paddling but also provides other outdoor activities. Harlow benefits from great access to the River Stort navigation that runs through the grounds and is home to "The Lock" - a 14-metre high indoor climbing centre.

Click here for more information on our centres and our activities

Key responsibilities

Amongst others your main responsibilities will be to run water and land based activity sessions in a safe and fun way for our customers. While there will be an expectation for you occasionally to ‘muck in’ with any part of the business if it is needed, we are employing you to be an Activity Instructor and that’s what we want you to do and be good at.

Training and qualifications

You will be required to hold a minimum of a Level 1 BCU/UKCC/paddlesport coaching award before employment. Other than this, Essex Outdoors will provide all the training you will need to be a productive and valued member of our team. We do not expect all of our applicants to have prior experience in all areas, just a commitment and enthusiasm to working well with children in all outdoor conditions.

Training will start with a two or three day residential stay at one of our centres to undertake core training. This will cover basics such as first aid, safeguarding and disability awareness to mention but a few. Following this each centre runs its own training programme. This will teach you how to run effective, safe and engaging sessions on a range of different activities. Naturally the activities will differ subject to the centre you are working at. Our experienced staff will guide you through all you need to know and leave you 100% confident to run activities.

We are always keen to welcome applicants that hold a variety of additional nationally recognised qualifications such as CWA/SPA, RYA dinghy instructor, RYA PB2/Safety Boat, Expeditionary qualifications etc etc albeit these are not a requirement.


Year-on-year we have staff that come back to work another season with us at Essex Outdoors and when their availability matches ours, they often work out of season as ‘as and when' instructors. We are aware that we cannot commit to long term contracts very often, so we do try to give our staff the opportunity to utilise the facilities when available and to make the most of the qualification courses that we run, often at highly discounted rates. As an example some staff during the 2018 season have achieved both their Paddlesport Instructor core training and specific training.

For the 2019 season we are offering a flexible fixed term job opportunity; these contracts vary between 4, 6, 8 and 10 months in duration.

Meet Ben


Ben joined the Essex Outdoors Seasonal Instructor Team and has since returned as an 'as and when' instructor and now a full time instructor. Here he has spoken about his experiences;

"Prior to applying for Essex Outdoors I was at University of Derby, Buxton studying Outdoor Activities Leadership and Coaching. Previous to that I was volunteering at Lambourne End Centre for Outdoor Learning to gain experience in the outdoor industry.In my youth I completed my silver and gold DofE awards through Essex Outdoors. I applied [for a seasonal role], simply by emailing the email address stated on the Essex Outdoors website and sending in a CV and a covering letter. The application process was smooth and easy and I was invited for a selection day and interview and offered a seasonal position the very same day.
I have learnt so much over my time being employed at Essex Outdoors, not just on the hard skills side of the job, but also my interpersonal skills with customers and ability to self evaluate my own instruction.
My range of skills and qualifications have also grown, gaining huge amounts of knowledge and experience in paddlesports from the managers and senior staff that I have worked with. This has allowed me to further my career progression and gain higher level qualifications.

Overall my experience at Essex Outdoors will always be a valuable one. Through the things I have learnt and the progressions that I have shown I was offered a full time position at Harlow.
My plans are to remain here at Essex Outdoors and try and work my way up the ladder of instruction levels so that I can begin to help grow the centres and give something back to the company that has provided me with so much. I can already tell that remaining here will continue to feed and nurture my, what can only be described as, an addiction to the outdoors!''

Ben C

How to apply

Firstly you will need to be age 18 or over on 1st May 2019.

If you are, then all you need to do is read the job profile, download and complete a supporting statement form and send it along with your CV to

Please ensure that you provide a full CV dating back to secondary education and including the start and finish date (months and years) of all your periods of education, employment and any volunteering. Please identify what you were doing in any gaps in employment longer than 4 weeks. Shortlisting of your application can be delayed if this information is not provided.

Please be aware that you will need to be available to work continuously throughout the main season which runs May to August. If you cannot start in May please contact us to discuss your requirements.

CALL US : 0345 200 4220
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