KJet expands experienced Jet boat team for summer season
December 18 2013
KJet nurtures fresh Kiwi talent expanding experienced Jet boat team for summer season
Queenstown’s KJet has added three new Jet boat drivers to its experienced driving team in the lead up to the busy summer season, employing graduates from Queenstown Resort College.
Promoting tourism as a positive career choice, the pioneering Jet boat company has employed Tim Beatson, Jack Rowe and Lincoln Williams as Jet boat drivers--- the trio are all graduates of QRC’s Adventure Tourism Management course.
KJet Operations Manager Fraser Gordon said the decision to employ them at the same time was “a complete coincidence” but came about because they were “simply the best people for the job”.
“We’re incredibly impressed with the calibre of these guys who stood head and shoulders above any other applicants,” he said.
“They received a good theoretical knowledge of the adventure tourism industry at QRC and coupled with their fantastic problem solving and analytical skills, they’re a perfect fit for the KJet team.
“Jet boating is a valued and rewarding career and anyone considering a job in the industry commits to a two year contract which includes extensive mentoring and on the job training in all areas of the business.
“It’s testimony to the dedication, passion and maturity of these guys that they’ve committed to KJet and a career in Jet boating, and QRC certainly helped them on that front.”
Established in 1960, and still locally owned and operated, KJet has firmly stamped its mark as Queenstown’s ultimate Jet boating experience. With an experienced team of drivers at the helm of the company’s eight state-of-the-art Jet boats, the latest recruits will add some “exciting new blood” to the team in time for summer.
Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) requires people to undertake 50 hours of practical training (driving) to receive their New Zealand commercial Jet Boat driver (river) licence. KJet requires its trainee drivers to undertake an additional 50 hours of in-house training.
“Our emphasis is always on safety first, the QRC course is fantastic as it covers safety in depth, including creating good safety plans which are essential in our field.”
New QRC recruit Tim Beatson graduated three months ago and said he wanted to work outdoors for “fun and exciting company”.
After attending high school in Hamilton Tim embarked on the QRC course and said he found the risk management papers in particular “very useful and essential to his new role”.
Lincoln Williams, also from Hamilton, lived in Australia before he came to Queenstown for the course.
“I’ve always had an interest in motor-related sports so a career in jet boating was certainly up there as a profession for me.” he said.
“I chose QRC as it’s highly-regarded in the tourism industry and I knew it would help me stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs.”
All the graduates and Mr Gordon firmly see tourism as a “lifelong and worthwhile career” with opportunities here and abroad.
“A Jet boat driver is 100% a valid career choice. It’s a full-time, year-round salaried role which provides stability and variety,” said Mr Gordon.
“Tourism used to be what people did before they got “a real job”, now thanks to institutions like QRC and its ATM course they help raise standards in the industry, resulting in a win/win for everyone.”
KJet is intrinsically a Kiwi company at heart and is proud of its Kiwi culture. Most of the company’s drivers are native New Zealanders so everyone that experiences KJet has an authentic Kiwi experience.
“Kiwi Jet boat drivers are seen as the cream of the crop”, said Mr Gordon.
“They’re revered the world over as Jet boating is known as a Kiwi activity. We look for drivers with practical, problem solving skills, and those who have the confidence and personality to “hold the floor” with a boat full of guests.
Jack Rowe from Nelson is the third QRC graduate joining the team following a 12-month stint as a ski instructor in Canada.
“I did the Adventure tourism course to gain a broader knowledge of the industry which included all aspects of learning not just purely skills based.
“It’s such a diverse job, one minute we’re driving a group of Korean visitors, next minute we’re doing a Conference and Incentive tailored tour or pulling apart one of the tractors or Jet boats to undertake mechanical tasks.”
QRC Internship manager Ray O’Brien said the Adventure Tourism Management course was the “perfect result of private business and education collaboration” for a shared cause.
“The perception of tourism as a career is changing in many ways. The industry itself is now holding its head high as a true profession and as an education provider QRC has raised the bar,” he said.
“Our entry process is quite rightly very rigorous to ensure we attract the best candidates who’ll then go on to not only be the face of QRC but also an ambassador for New Zealand’s tourism industry.
“That’s an incredibly powerful and privileged role to have.” KJet has also hired QRC Hospitality Management Course Graduate Liz Anstis as part of the company’s frontline team at the Queenstown Jetty base.
Also from the North Island, she joined KJet after a working in frontline roles at Hayman Island in Australia.
Having learnt all about the workings of a hotel, Liz has transferred her skills to KJet.
“I think that’s the key, that both courses cover skills that are transferable to other industries while also being specific and targeted to the adventure and hospitality industries. It’s provided me with a great start to my career,” said Ms Anstis.