Bitter France snubs Britons for jobs – and creates new exam only available in French


The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement signed between the UK and Brussels left out mutual recognition of professional qualifications, sparking fury among British ski and snowboard instructors.

UK professionals hoping to work in France, Italy and Austria for the ski season are being rejected by EU member states authorities as their qualifications, fully recognised until December 2020, are now being trashed.

France is demanding UK professionals take an exam in order to qualify for jobs, but the examination can only be taken in French, making it even harder for UK nationals to apply.

Robert Greatbach, a British ski instructor who worked in Italy before the pandemic, said France is not recognising his qualification.

He told the FT: “I always wanted to work in Tignes.

“After leaving the EU, my British qualification is not recognised in France.

“The procedure for getting it recognised still will not be formalised until the summer.”

Snow sports training manager at Interski Andy McIntosh said his work permit applications was turned down by Italy, after 40 years of experience working in the Alps.

He said: “My job requires me to be in the UK for seven months and in Italy for five months, where I deliver instructor training.

“I am now in a position where I can’t work in Italy; this is very frustrating and also very sad for me personally, and for the wider profession.”

He added: “We were the largest British ski school in the Alps, employing up to 400 British ski instructors a season and covering 1,200 instructor teaching weeks.

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Switzerland, although not in the EU, is also prioritising EU professionals over British ones.

Ben Woodhead, a trainee ski instructor, said: “Ultimately it’s also just going to stop most British people being able to train as instructors in the first place.”

Even if British citizens have EU residency papers, they can only work in the member state in which they reside.

The complaints come as the UK is still locking horns with Brussels over the Northern Ireland Protocol of the Brexit agreement.

The UK-EU joint committee is meeting on Monday to continue negotiations.


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