Maritime recruitment specialist Viking Recruitment has begun construction of its Maritime Skills Academy its first step into the world of maritime training. Based in Dover, just by Viking Recruitment's existing head office in Beechwood Business Park, the training facility is expected to complete in 2015 and will cater to the increased demands for the training of superyacht crew, under the new STCW regulations coming into force over the next three years, with particular focus on refresher training which will be mandatory as of 2017.

The Maritime Skills Academy has seen a £6.5 million investment and has secured financing from the East Kent Expansion Fund. It will include a specialist fire-fighting and sea-survival centre providing a wave pool and additional environmental affects. The Academy will, in addition, provide simulator training equipment, numerous training rooms, conference provisions for up to 120 people, kitchens, a restaurant and a coffee shop and bar, all of which will be utilised for hospitality training.

Viking Recruitment has also been vocal about the benefits that will be reaped by the local economy, with the consequent requirement for candidate accommodation in the local area.

"Dover has a rich seafaring heritage with many people employed int he maritime industries across East Kent. Up until now they have had to travel further afield and even abroad for such training, but from 2015 they will be able to train here in Dover," said Dieter Jaenicke, chairman and founder of Viking Recruitment. "The new centre will also provide an important showcase for maritime careers to young people whether at sea or ashore."

Councillor Paul Watkins, leader of the Dover District Council, added: "This is another example of renewed investor confidence in the Dover District. Viking Recruitment has built a strong business in Dover and has spotted a great opportunity to expand their business and build on Dover's reputation for maritime innovation and excellence."

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