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Shrewsbury Colleges Group is proud to be working in partnership with JCA on the exciting Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship for 2024!

Based in the beautiful setting of Condover Hall, Shropshire, you will be identified as an Activity Instructor with incredible opportunities and staff perks.

Who is it for?

An Outdoor Activity Instructor supervises and guides children and adults in activities and pastimes such as canoeing, sailing, climbing, surfing, cycling, hillwalking, archery, bushcraft, rock pooling, geology, plant identification, habitat or wildlife walks at an introductory level. They will be supervised while working in a limited range of venues and weather conditions following tightly defined operating procedures.

The main responsibility of an Outdoor Activity Instructor is to run a safe and enjoyable activity session. They will:

  • Prepare for the session – gather information about the participants and resources for the activity
  • Deliver the session – brief participants, maintain safety and provide ongoing instruction and encouragement
  • Meet session outcome – support participants to achieve the set outcome (such as new skills/knowledge, thrill-seeking, personal or team challenge)
  • Close the session – hand over participants, return resources and equipment, and log any issues.

Outdoor Activity Instructors may undertake their apprenticeship with an employer who specialises in a particular client group (individuals or groups, specific age range, mental and physical ability) or range of activities offered. They exercise autonomy and judgement to complete tasks and procedures and call on close backup for problems and incidents that may occur.

Generic job titles recognised across the industry include Multi-Activity Leader, Environmental Education Tutor, Ranger, and National Park Guide.

Why JCA?

JCA has over 25 years of experience in providing fun and educational adventures for school and youth groups. They’re big enough to challenge, small enough to care – You’ll never be just another number. They pride themselves on having a close working relationship with all of our instructors – So if you’ve got your eye on development within the outdoor education industry, they’ll support and help you get there.

If you’re looking to branch out after your time on the apprenticeship, JCA are part of the Travelopia group made up of 30 different travel brands! You might find yourself working a season overseas with Skibound or joining one of the Head Office functions!

More information on JCA and Condover Hall activity centre can be found on their website.

Shrewsbury Colleges Group works in partnership with JCA (based in Condover Hall, Shropshire) on this programme. Within this apprenticeship, you will be identified as an Activity Instructor.

What is an Outdoor Activity Apprenticeship with JCA?

If a 9-5 office job and sitting behind a desk all day is just not your thing, this apprenticeship could be just the thing you’re looking for! As experts in the outdoor activity industry, JCA will give you the tools to climb your way to the top and achieve industry-recognised qualifications – a fantastic way to build your CV and progress within the outdoor industry! The apprenticeship will focus on the practical elements of the instructor role and support with any theory-based learning.

Activity Instructors are the superstars of JCA, the children will look up to you and see you as their hero – you’ll make sure they are safe and having an amazing time during their adventure holiday!

Entry Requirements

There are no set entry requirements for this apprenticeship however, it is desirable that the applicant has already obtained Maths and English GCSE at a 4/C or above (or recognised equivalent.) If the applicant has not achieved this level, you will be required to undertake these as part of the Apprenticeship delivery and achieve by the proposed completion date.

What does the course involve with JCA?

With JCA, no two days will look the same – they have over 40 activities & you will be trained in delivering all of these! They have a range of outdoor and indoor activities and once your group arrives on-site, you are their instructor for the whole of their stay!

You’ll be the leader of the pack for activities such as fencing and archery in the sunshine, final shoot out at the laser quest and helping guests overcome their fears on the abseiling tower and aerial trek high above the trees! Your top priority will be keeping your pack safe and making sure everyone has the time of their life.

Over the course of 13 months, JCA will give you all the training, equipment and confidence needed in this role – so no previous experience is required!

At the end of the apprenticeship, you will achieve an industry-recognised Level 3 qualification in Outdoor Activity Leadership. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also have the chance to gain further external qualifications including:

  • Fencing Leader
  • FSRT & Paddle Sports instructor
  • GB Orienteering
  • GB Archery
  • First Aid
  • NPLQ

JCA offer their apprentices the chance to live on-site, so no boring commute to work! You’ll live and breathe what it means to be an Activity Instructor. You will make friends for life and tonnes of unforgettable memories whilst completing your apprenticeship!

The place you’ll call home is Condover Hall, JCA’s flagship centre in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Set in the stunning Shropshire countryside and just a stone’s throw from a lively town with lots to do.

You will have the opportunity to branch out and experience a different type of adventure at one of their other seasonal centres across the UK once you have completed your apprenticeship.

What can JCA offer you?

  • £500 Sign-On bonus
  • National Apprenticeship Wage
  • Access to Travelopia’s Travel bar with a huge range of discounts across restaurants, high street retailers etc.
  • Two days off each week
  • JCA uniform including branded t-shirts, fleeces and jackets
  • On-site shared accommodation is provided at a reduced rate
  • All of your meals are included – even on your days off!
  • Full five to six weeks of training on-site including the full range of outdoor activities, health and safety, first aid, safeguarding & more
  • Final Level 3 qualification in Outdoor Activity leadership alongside external qualifications e.g. NGBs
  • Support with passing Functional Skills qualification if required
  • Partnership with Shrewsbury Colleges Group – including access to all learning facilities and the all-important student discount!
  • Access to our independent Employee Assistance Programme for a range of support
  • On-going positions with JCA and other Travelopia brands
  • Staff events
  • Use of the facilities – bring your family along to show off your new skills!
  • Incentive programmes
  • Travelopia holiday discounts
  • A hands-on practical apprenticeship & assessment

What’s not to like?

Additional things to consider:

  • January 3 2024 start date for 13 months
  • The initial training programme runs for five/six weeks – you will need to be available for that full period
  • Full-time position working 40 hours each week – this will include working some evenings & weekends
  • Residential position based at JCA’s flagship Activity Centre, Condover Hall in Shrewsbury, Shropshire
  • As this role will involve working with children and young people, JCA will cover the cost of your enhanced DBS check and organise it for you
  • As part of the screening process, you will be required to attend one of our Recruitment Day/Weekend
  • You will be required to provide a selection of ID documents such as Passport, Driving Licence, Full Birth Certificate, Bank Statement & P45/P60
  • As this position is residential, you must be 18 or over by the start date.

What happens in the recruitment process?

Once you’ve made your application, you will be contacted by one of JCA’s friendly recruitment team for a chat, then invited to attend one of our Recruitment events at Condover Hall, Shrewsbury.

During the event, you’ll get to meet your potential new colleagues, explore what could be your new home/workplace and most of all, have fun! There will be the chance to try out some of our activities and really get a feel for what life is like here. Accommodation and meals will be covered by us for the whole event too!

What do I do next?

Due to Shrewsbury Colleges Group working in partnership with JCA on this Apprenticeship programme, we ask that you apply directly through the JCA website for consideration.


During the application process, candidates will be selected to attend activity days to see what exciting things JCA has to offer!