Dover based Viking Recruitment Ltd 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. 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, modern kitchens, a restaurant, and coffee shop/bar, all utilised for maritime hospitality training. The Maritime Skills Academy also provides a boost to the local economy, as trainees will require accommodation in local hotels and B&Bs.
Viking Recruitment, established in 1988, has secured financing for the development along with an initial interest free loan of £1.3 million from the East Kent Expansion Fund, part of the £40 million Regional Growth Fund.
Dieter Jaenicke, Chairman and Founder of Viking Recruitment, said: "Dover has a rich seafaring heritage with many people employed in the 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. The new centre will also provide an important showcase for maritime careers to young people whether at sea or ashore."
Cllr Paul Watkins, Leader of Dover District Council, said: "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."