New trainee skippers urge others to come and work at the 'best office in the country' on the waters of Windermere

Windermere Lake Cruises’ latest group of trainee boat skippers have appealed to others to come and join them working on the waters of Windermere.

By Michelle Blade
Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 3:45 pm

The trainees say England’s longest lake is the “best office in the country!” and there are varied job opportunities to be had.

Windermere Lake Cruises, one of the country’s leading tourist attractions, is hosting a recruitment day on Sunday, March 6 as it looks to fill around 100 seasonal vacancies ahead of this year’s peak holiday season.

Doug Henderson, currently undergoing training to become a boat master,” said: “This is a wonderful place to work. When you look down the length of Windermere it is absolutely breath-taking!”

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Windermere Lake Cruises, one of the country’s leading tourist attractions, is hosting a recruitment day on Sunday, March 6 as it looks to fill around 100 seasonal vacancies ahead of this year’s peak holiday season. From left: trainee boat masters Anca Nistor, Douglas Henderson and Charlotte Thornborrow.

Doug is 64 and previously worked in training and development. He’s done seasonal work with Windermere Lake Cruises for the last few years and enjoyed the work so much he is now looking forward to becoming a boat master.

“The reason I decided to come and work for Windermere Lake Cruises is I’m a massive extrovert – I just love talking to people!” he said.

“I get my energy from it. You meet such a diverse range of people. This is a lovely place to work and it’s also very flexible so you can fit the job round you to a great extent.”

Charlotte Thornborrow, 26, is another boat master trainee – deciding to take the plunge and try to qualify as a skipper after first joining the company for seasonal work last summer.

Windermere Lake Cruises, one of the country’s leading tourist attractions, is hosting a recruitment day on Sunday, March 6 as it looks to fill around 100 seasonal vacancies ahead of this year’s peak holiday season.

“It’s one of the best offices you could wish for,” said Charlotte, a graduate in wildlife conservation from Nottingham University and Kendal born and bred.

“As the seasons change it is just so beautiful to look out on. I’d encourage anyone to come along to the recruitment day and have a look at the job opportunities available. It’s a great place to work.”

Ian Wilkinson, HR manager at Windermere Lake Cruises, said: “This is a great opportunity to come and work in one of the most beautiful locations in the country and we can definitely promise some of the best views you are likely to find!”

Becoming a boat master involves intensive training in nautical skills, fire safety, first aid and gaining the required Maritime Coastguard Agency qualifications. But there are jobs in a wide variety of other roles also available.

A variety of customer service roles are available over the busy April-November period, based at Ambleside, Bowness and Lakeside. The fixed-term contracts include crew to work on board the main fleet, as well as overseeing the popular self-drive motorboats and rowing boats. Other vacancies include staff to work in ticket offices, lakeside shops, cafés and information points. There are full and part time opportunities.

The recruitment day takes place on Sunday, March 6 from 10am to 4pm, on board the company’s newest vessel MV Swift, at Bowness Pier. It’s open to anyone.

Current staff will be on board MV Swift along with HR specialists to talk through the vacancies available and to show people around the high-tech new vessel.

Starting rates are £10.00 per hour, with sociable hours and no split shifts. There are also enhancements for overtime, bank holidays and some evening work.

“The roles are varied and would suit anyone from retirees looking for part time work – to students hoping to enhance their CVs,” said Ian Wilkinson.

Windermere Lake Cruises is one of the most visited paid for attractions in the country. In 2019 it was in the top five according to the national tourist board VisitEngland with 1.6 million passenger journeys.

Its popularity means that during the summer months, staff numbers need to more than double to deal with the huge demand from passengers exploring England’s largest lake on its 16-strong fleet of historic ‘steamers’, waterbuses and traditional wooden launches.