A Welsh college has launched a 12-week course aimed at giving students the skills to embark upon a career in the cruise industry.
Coleg Menai, in Bangor, Gwynedd, will equip students with skills such as silver service, wine-tasting and house-keeping.
The college is working with cruise ship management firm Viking Recruitment, which provides staff for Seabourn, Welsh-Irish partnership Celtic Wave and Isle of Anglesey County Council, and all students will be guaranteed a job interview with Seabourn Cruise Lines at the end of the course.
The programme is open to anyone over 21, and it is hoped that the course will raise awareness in Wales of the employment opportunities that cruise lines have to offer.
The course organisers are also hoping it will prompt cruise lines to boost their recruitment drive in the region, rather than focus predominantly on London.
Kevin Spencer, general manager of cruise operations at Viking Recruitment, told the BBC: “It’s about getting the message out there. People don't know that, with the right skills and background, the opportunities are out there in the cruise liner industry."
The new course is being run as a pilot, but Spencer hopes that it could become permanent if it proves successful.
Coleg Menai describes the course as an “intensive training programme”, and the college recently interviewed prospective students.
According to the college, “the cruise industry is an emerging high-profile sector in Wales and Ireland”, and work carried out by Celtic Wave identified a lack of cruise industry recruitment programmes in the two nations.
Dylan Williams, head of service economic development at the Isle of Anglesey County Council, who manage the Celtic Wave Project, said: “This a great opportunity for young people to join the expanding cruise ship industry, an industry which has considerable growth potential here in Anglesey through the port of Holyhead.”
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