Cooking up a new business

Johnny Johansen and Steve Redman are interviewing chefs in Blackpool for cruise line work.

Johnny Johansen and Steve Redman are interviewing chefs in Blackpool for cruise line work.

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A RECRUITMENT company which finds entertainment and catering staff for cruise liners and hotels is flourishing.

IDEA Worldwide Ltd, based in Cleveleys, has just held two days of chef recruitment in Blackpool for Norweigan hotels.

And the firm has also landed a contract worth £150,000 with an Estonian cruise line to produce shows.

IDEA chief executive officer Steve Redman said chefs were in short supply in the Scandinavian country – so much so he has founded new company IDEA Recruitment to cope with demand.

He said: “The colleges simply aren’t producing enough young chefs over there.

“One of our Scandinavian clients came over and we interviewed for two days at the Imperial Hotel for nine chef positions.

“Norway is a great opportunity – the EU has rated it the best country to live in the world for the past five years. The standard of living is excellent.

“We are hoping the chance to work in Scandinavia with its high pay rates and excellent working conditions will entice some talented chefs to take the plunge and see what an amazing place Scandinavia is to work in.”

While setting up the recruitment firm, IDEA won a £150,000 10-week contract to provide an Estonian liner with a full entertainment package.

Steve added: “We work in partnership with Belinda King Creative, the biggest firm in the field.

“We work together, holding auditions and picking artists. We sometimes see 100 dancers in a day to get the right people.”

IDEA now has three staff in Cleveleys, with an office and staff in Norway.

New jobs look a certainty in the future with Steve’s schedule hitting overdrive.

He said: “Today I’m going to Hong Kong for a fashion show, and from there I fly to Oslo, followed by a flight to Cyprus to see another cruise firm.

“It’s always busy.

“Recently we took on artistes who had just come off the Costa Concordia before it sank, and they needed to find out about their friends.”