WEST Cork woman Melissa Lynch is a course co-ordinator and instructor at the NMCI, and she is particularly excited about the new Superyacht course.
Her brother Cian runs a marine charts firm in Castletownbere so the sea is very much in the family’s blood.
A former Beara Community School pupil, Melissa went to CIT in 2003 and studied Nautical Science and spent many years since at sea.
The Superyacht course, which kicks off on November 13th, will see students learn all about yacht interiors, stewarding, crewing, first aid and even catering. It provides participants with a comprehensive qualification to crew on one of these exclusive vessels, which are becoming an increasingly important part of maritime careers.
‘It’s quite a quick way of getting into the industry and getting work – there is a big demand for staff at the moment,’ explained Michelle. NMCI marketing executive Joy Gillen added that superyachts are crying out for Irish crew – because we have a reputation for working hard, professionalism and, of course, friendliness. It’s a winning combination for yacht hosts trying to impress their guests.
The initial introductory course is five days in length, but participants can study longer to gain more qualifications. ‘You can get work on these yachts once you are over 18, and the starting salary is €2,000 a month plus tips – which sometimes can be very generous,’ added Melissa. ‘Of course, you also get to travel the world in luxury, though you also have to work very hard!’
Many of these yachts have crews of 80-100 and are getting bigger all the time.
Aodha Sullivan from Bere Island is studying marine engineering, under the tutorship of Ballinlough man Dave Lynch.
Aodha is working with cruise firm Carnival UK and loves it. He is in third year of a four-year course. ‘I thought I would end up working on a trawler, but I love the cruise ship,’ he said. His father runs LCF Marine so, again, boating is in his background. Once he finishes his current project at the NMCI he is heading off to sea again where he has a contract with Carnival.
Lecturer Dave says few marine engineering graduates have any trouble getting full-time well-paid jobs, especially given the comprehensive training they receive at the state-of-the-art campus in Ringaskiddy.