Leading global cruise vacation company Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL) is teaming up with STI Education Services Group, Inc. (STI ESG), one of the Philippines’ largest network of schools, to establish a world-class training center in Manila. The facility, named RCL-STI Cruise Talent Development Centre (CTDC), will produce more Filipino seafaring talents ready to take on thousands of new hotel roles on cruise ships.
From left to right: (Standing) STI-ESG Vice Chairman and CEO Monico V. Jacob, RCL APAC HR Operations Director Mun Fei Lawrence Chee, RCM India General Manager John D’Souza, STI-ESG President and COO Peter K. Fernandez (Sitting) RCL Global HR Operations Director Tanay Alonso, STI-ESG Executive Committee Chairman Eusebio H. Tanco, RCL Senior Vice President and Chief HR Officer Paul T. Parker, RCL Associate Vice President and RCL-ROHQ General Manager Artur Pankowski
The two entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) just recently for the creation of the RCL-STI CTDC that will follow RCL standards in providing training for hospitality jobs on cruise ships.
The MoU is a strategic move that will further benefit Filipino cruise talents who presently account for a fifth of the total global workforce on board the fleet of RCL’s many brands; these include Royal Caribbean International (RCI), Celebrity Cruises, and Azamara Club Cruises.
RCL’s six brands together operate more than 40 cruise ships that offer diverse itineraries around the world and call on approximately 490 destinations on all seven continents.
The US-based global company is known in the cruise industry for its commitment to the legacy of hospitality and culture of innovation that is at the core of its guest service. It remains to be a top choice for cruise talent, including those who have the potential to rise to leadership roles in the hospitality industry.
RCL Senior Vice President and Chief HR Officer Paul T. Parker (3rd right) and STI-ESG Executive Committee Chairman Eusebio H. Tanco (4th right) signed the memorandum of understanding for the creation of the RCL-STI Cruise Talent Development Centre in Manila. Present at the ceremony were STI-ESG Vice Chairman and CEO Monico V. Jacob (left), STI-ESG President and COO Peter K. Fernandez (2nd right), RCL Associate Vice President and RCL-ROHQ General Manager Artur Pankowski (right), RCL Global HR Operations Director Tanay Alonso (center), RCL APAC HR Operations Director Mun Fei Lawrence Chee (4th left), RCM India General Manager John D’Souza (3rd left), and RCL-ROHQ Lead Shipboard Recruiter Kim Santos (2nd left).
"More than 17,000 Filipinos are employed on our ships," said Paul T. Parker, RCL Senior Vice President and Chief HR Officer. This makes the Philippines the top source for Royal Caribbean.
“We are excited to create new ways of tapping into the Philippines’ deep pool of talent as we anticipate a massive increase in the number of cruise talent who will support our company’s expansion,” Parker added.
This matches with “STI’s approach of building new paths for our students and graduates to break into the professional world,” said Eusebio H. Tanco, Executive Committee Chairman of STI ESG.
Tanco shared that the collaboration is “a boost to our programs that emphasize both academic excellence, and practical and industry-relevant skills training that we hope will produce more world-class hospitality and tourism professionals.”
It fits perfectly with the school’s commitment to real life education as well as its push to strengthen its tourism and hospitality management programs.
For RCL’s part, Parker said the partnership “completes our approach to finding new talent in the Philippines and bringing them into our company.” The leading cruise company began this approach with the opening of RCCL Crew Management Inc. (RCM Philippines), its own manning office in the country, in 2016. RCM Philippines helps new applicants and returning Filipino crew members through the process of joining Royal Caribbean ships.
“We are encouraged by the excellent work of our existing Filipino crew members,” Parker continued. “We know there is so much more benefit that we can gain from Filipino talent. It makes a lot of sense to look to the Philippines now that our company prepares to increase our global workforce.” The creation of CTDC in Manila is RCL’s investment in the Filipino, he added.
Tanco is not surprised that RCL is impressed by Filipino seafarers and cruise talents. “Our country has a very strong maritime culture due in part to our geography that has blessed the Filipino with the innate talent to be an excellent seafarer.”
“A good number of Philippine maritime education and training institutes continue to mold this talent and enhance the natural skills of our seafarers. It is high time we complemented this with equally effective and high-quality training for hospitality and tourism professionals who are ready to join global cruise companies.”