Belgian academy trains butlers for the super-rich

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 21, 2013 07:20 hrs

Brussels, Aug 21 (IANS/EFE) The exclusive School for Butlers and Hospitality in Brussels has found a niche training people to cater to the needs of the world's wealthy, with the Belgian academy drawing applicants from around the globe.

"The most important thing for a good butler is to have a good personal attitude and know how to provide maximum service with minimum intrusiveness," School for Butlers and Hospitality director Vincent Vermuelen told EFE.

The academy will offer its first four-week course in September at the Plaza Hotel in Brussels for 6,980 euros ($9,380).

About 100 candidates from around the world applied for the 12 slots in the class.

Butlers are in demand in the wake of the financial crisis even though the public has the idea that they only exist on television series and in novels about Victorian England.

Five-star hotels, embassies, yachts and mansions are among the employers of white-gloved butlers.

The luxury market's strength throughout the economic crisis has led more people to seek employment as butlers, who can earn from 50,000 euros ($67,195) to 180,000 euros ($241,901) annually, based on experience and the type of employer.

The School for Butlers and Hospitality is able to charge high tuition because of the quality of its instructors and courses, as well as the opportunities that its certificates open up, Vermuelen said.

The Middle East, Russia and China are the markets with the greatest demand for butlers, with academies opening to train people in these areas.



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