In response to an increase in demand for well-trained interior yacht crew, the Stewardess Training Academy was established in Palma in June 2016. Formed by Jess Barnard and Erin Bloom - former yacht crew stewardesses - the training academy aims to imbue both inexperienced and experienced interior crew with the skills to offer exceptional service and a distinguished sense of professionalism.
"When we started the academy, we thought that we would mainly be working with green stews, but, to our surprise, we have been training a lot of stews with a few years' experience in the industry. It can be hard for stews that already have experience to admit they need training, but some boats don't have the time to conduct formal training on board, so it makes sense that they want to do certified courses, " commented Bloom.
The academy partners with many other organisations to offer a diverse range of courses - each of which is designed to develop stews' long-term career aspirations and boost their confidence. Course topics include an introduction to the interior, food service, barista, silver service, floristry and plant care, yoga, and wine. With competition for yacht crew jobs increasing, it is essential to maximise your skillset; building a strong arsenal of skills can open more doors to jobs on yachts.
Set in a beautiful 3-storey villa in the heart of Alaro, Palma, the Stewardess Training Academy provides a memorable learning experience, as well as a sure-fire way to a enhance your skills. The beautiful island was selected as the academy's base due to its importance as an international yachting hub. Currently, many yacht crew live on the island, but there are few interior training facilities in the region. Jess and Erin recognise the transient nature of the yachting industry and are committed to evolving with industry demand.
Bloom commented on the academy and the students that enrolled there: "Since we started the business we've received a constant influx of emails, and have had girls (and guys) signing up for courses all the way into the summer months. I think this is indicative of the importance placed on interior training, not only by employers but also by interior crews themselves. Yachting is more competitive than in the past and green crew especially are looking to do more courses to give themselves the edge. So too, employers call on this as a deciding factor not only in the employment of newbies that have additional skills but also as testament of crew members that are more committed and that choose to invest in themselves and their careers. I believe that the same is true for seasoned crew. We were surprised to find that our courses are most popular among steward/esses that already have various years of experience and are still seeking extra tutelage.
Various associations are campaigning for there to be a set standard and we too see the need just through the students, employers and recruiters that desire interior crew to have additional training. There is an all round call for interior roles and training to carry more weight. We have also found that stewards and stewardesses often require training as a confidence boost. As so many boats are unique in the ways that things are done and with longevity perhaps limiting a broadened experience, many seek to brush up on their skills or require the affirmation that what they have learned is correct and of a high enough standard in order to progress in their roles. "
To date, many interior crew have taken advantage of Jess and Erin's experience and knowledge. Leanne Eldridge, one of the course's former students, said: "[It was a] fantastic, practical and very thorough course. It was so great to be taught by, and have questions answered by, ladies who have so much industry experience. Both Erin and Jess were super helpful, accommodating, and fun. I would highly recommend [the course]! "
Thomas Percival also paid testament to the academy and the organisers: "This course was very informative and great fun. I learned lots of useful skills for the future. The instructors were very friendly and approachable. "
To find out more about the courses on offer at the Stewardess Training Academy, contact the team directly. For more information on gaining a job as a stewardess on a luxury superyacht, or any other position, get in touch with YPI CREW.