Twice a year, the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) hosts an awareness day for its GUEST programme (Guidelines on Unified Excellence in Service Training). And while the training focuses on crew, these awareness days are put together primarily for yacht managers and charter brokers, to emphasise the value of having properly trained interior crew on board.
The latest awareness day, which took place in June on board 91m motoryacht Moonlight II in Nice, sought to offer those in attendance a full understanding of benefits of how the right or wrong type of education could affect guests, either positively or negatively, and offered snippets of various GUEST courses, including: etiquette and understanding protocols for guest interaction; flower arranging; the art of laying tables, synchronised service and service based on guest culture; wine; and cabin set up and turn downs.
Previously, the importance and value of up-to-standard interior training had primarily been promoted to crew and the training providers, but with so many non-mandatory courses on offer (because the interior courses aren’t safety focused, the industry has come to accept that the chances of them becoming mandatory is slim), crew, particularly green crew, were getting confused and overwhelmed by the wealth of options that, when signed up to, significantly reduced their wealth. As such, the PYA has somewhat altered its approach and now focuses on those who can make training decisions from the top down, namely, captains, yacht managers and charter brokers – those who have direct, or close to direct, relationships with the yacht’s end user. This latest awareness day saw 19 charter brokers from Burgess, Y.CO, Northrop & Johnson, YPI, Fraser Yachts and Worth Avenue Yachts attend – a figure that is increasing with each awareness day held by the PYA, reinforcing the growing awareness of the value of proper training among those closer to the end user.
The shoulders on which the responsibility lies to ensure a yacht has a properly trained crew is changing. The industry is slowly starting to accept that the financial outlay is perhaps a little too much to ask of junior interior crew, when the training needs vary from yacht to yacht anyway. Instead, captains, managers and brokers are beginning to make the call to send interior teams for their GUEST training as a unit – the captain of Moonlight II did exactly this and has commented on the increased competence of his interior team. Nowadays more than 50 per cent of crew have all training paid for by the yacht, according to The Crew Report’s Superyacht Golden Ticket survey, and it’s these yachts that are leading the way and understanding they will, in most cases, have a superior level of crew if they make the financial investment.
Images: Katie Jane Howson