has insisted that more talented youngsters need to be given opportunities if the industry is to thrive in the future.

The Cruise Lines International Association’s (CLIA’s) Industry Outlook Report for the first quarter of 2016 was hugely positive, predicting continued growth in the number of passengers embarking on cruises, while also suggesting that cruise lines will invest more than $25billion (£17.4billion) into the building of 55 new ships between now and 2020.

However, as the demand for this type of holiday soars, the need for skilled cruise workers will inevitably increase too - and the search for talent is arguably the biggest challenge facing companies in the coming years.'s MD, James Cole, feels that apprentices will play a crucial role in plugging this skills gap, and will ultimately determine whether or not the CLIA’s bold projections for the industry prove to be accurate. He said: “We have taken on apprentices because it’s a great way to bring young and enthusiastic people into our business. Government grants help to subsidise the cost and we can give fantastic opportunities to youngsters in our local community. Cruise holidays are changing, with the average age of passengers consistently falling. It’s vital, therefore, that the industry has a fresh injection of young, passionate employees who reflect this shift.

“Hiring apprentices is beneficial on so many levels, which is why it’s so important that such opportunities are made more readily available - apprenticeships shouldn’t be so difficult to find. Youngsters are the future, so it’s imperative that cruise companies give them a chance to develop within the cruise industry.”

Image Source: mariakraynova via Shutterstock

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