MARITIME-skills1Viking, a UK-based recruitment firm for the cruise ship and superyacht markets, has started construction of a state-of-the-art maritime training and conference facility at its head office on the Beechwood Business Park in Dover on Britain’s south coast.

The Maritime Skills Academy will include a specialist fire-fighting and a sea survival centre with wave pool and accompanying environmental effects. The new complex will meet the increased demand for such training with new regulations coming into force in 2017 requiring all seafarers to undertake increased training as well as refresher training every five years.

In addition to providing safety and sea survival training, the centre will also feature numerous training rooms for professional development, simulator training equipment, a conference provision for 120 people and more.

“Dover has a rich seafaring heritage with many people employed in the maritime industries across East Kent,” says Dieter Jaenicke, chairman and founder of Viking Recruitment. “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.”

Viking Recruitment has secured financing for the development, along with an initial interest-free loan of £1.3m from the East Kent Expansion Fund, part of the £40m Regional Growth Fund.