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Students To Train Onboard International Cruise Ships

1st February, 2012

Six students from the University of the South Pacific will benefit from a year-long internship on board the P&O Cruises’ ships in 2013.

The opportunity is a result of a successful partnership that USP has been able to forge with Carnival Australia - a leader in the cruise industry for the region, representing five of the international cruise brands operating in the local market today.

The 12-month practicum programme is for students completing their Bachelor of Commerce Hotel Management Degree at the University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Studies (STHM).

The partnership began a few years ago when Professor David Harrison, Head of STHM, met with representatives from Carnival Australia at a function held by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation. Later that year, a group of USP students visited the Pacific Dawn, a cruise liner operated by P&O Cruises, when it came to Suva, and a representative of Carnival Australia attended the School’s Careers Fair. As a result, few students were employed by the company.

Professor Harrison describes the partnership as a mutually beneficial one.

“Some of our best graduates find well paid positions onboard the cruise ships, Carnival Australia is able to obtain a good supply of graduates, and the STHM is pleased with the achievements of its students,” he added.

Students selected for the internship will gain relevant industry experience working with the hotel department teams onboard the cruise ships. They will be deployed in different sections of the ships which include restaurants, bars, housekeeping and front office. Following the practicum, students will graduate and, if successful, take up full-time employment at P&O Cruises.

Professor Harrison said that students benefit immensely from experiences like the ones offered onboard international cruise ships.

Career building internships are in line with our commitment to ensure Pacific Island communities share the economic benefits of the big surge in cruising in the region, explained Mr Bryce Clarke, the South Pacific Fleet Training and Development Manager for Carnival Australia.

Setting the scene for the six new internships, Mr Clarke attended the annual Careers Fair last year, held in Sigatoka, Fiji.

The fair is always a great opportunity for P&O Cruises to be represented as one of the leading employers in the region as we pursue our aim of having 10 percent of onboard staff drawn from the Pacific Islands, he noted.

Mr Clarke met with graduating students to discuss opportunities and potential career paths at P&O Cruises. They were also asked to complete a 2000-word paper outlining their suitability for the internship programme.

As a result of the four years that Carnival Australia has been represented at the fair, it has successfully deployed 31 crew members from Fiji.



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