Cruise ship firm to offer hundreds of jobs to Filipinos this year

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 27 2018 06:00 AM | Updated as of Apr 30 2018 04:16 PM

Students learn how to prepare food for the guests of a cruise ship. ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The world's largest travel leisure company Carnival Corporation is hiring hundreds of Filipino seafarers for its premium cruise company Holland America Lines (HAL) this year, the firm's president said on Thursday. 

HAL President Orlando Ashford said they will launch a new cruise ship dubbed the Nieuw Statendam, later this year.

He estimates that more than 400 Filipino seafarers will be needed to man it. 

"What we've found is that our Filipino partners is they're smart, energetic, they have a great sense of humor, and we really want that in connecting with our guests," Ashford said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss. 

Ashford said that the new cruise ship, which will be the largest in their fleet, will be able to accommodate 2,666 guests. At a ratio of 1 employee for 2 guests, they would need around 1,300 staff and 34 percent of those would be Filipinos, he said. 

HAL currently has two schools training potential hires in the Philippines. In their schools in Antipolo and Intramuros, applicants are trained in everything from food service, culinary work, front office work, refrigeration, plumbing and other skills needed on a ship. 

Holland America Lines president Orlando Ashford talks to ANC's Cathy Yang

Despite the slowdown in hiring of Filipino seafarers amid competition from other countries, Ashford said he doesn't see his company reducing the number of Filipinos they will be recruiting for cruise ship jobs. 

He said he spent several days in the country talking to HAL's teachers, students and partners about the company's expansion.

One of HAL's concerns, he said, was about attracting enough talented people to work for the company as it grows. 

"On the flip side the employee gets an opportunity to literally see and experience the world."

Interested applicants may contact HAL's local recruitment partner United Philippine Lines (UPL).

HAL and UPL run a center in Antipolo City which provides potential recruits training in culinary arts, front office work, English communications skills,  personality development and other skills needed on a cruise ship.

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