• There are now more aspiring butlers in China as the number of the country's wealthy families increases.

There are now more aspiring butlers in China as the number of the country's wealthy families increases. (Photo : The Bespoke Bureau)

Schools teaching Western-style butler skills have set up in China as demand for qualified staff increases due to the growing number of wealthy Chinese families.

At Noahs Shanghai Yatch Club, a two-week program run by The British Butler Institute costing thousands of yuan teaches such skills as valet services, etiquette, knowledge of wines, food and cigars, as well as getting the temperature right when running a hot bath.

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Gary Williams, principal of The British Butler Institute, said that they have grown steadily throughout China and are currently training an average of 850 students a year.

The International Butler Academy, a Dutch institution that opened in Chengdu last year, offers a six-week training program at 40,000 yuan per person.

A Chinese institution, the Meiyu Home Service Coalition Organization Co. Ltd., has linked up with Switzerland's Les Roches International School of Hotel Management to provide courses.

The one-month program, which is split between Beijing and Switzerland, costs 47,840 yuan. Courses include Western etiquette, international communication skills and event planning.

A Shanghai-based wealth management research agency, Hurun Research Institute reported that China has more than 1.09 million people with assets of at least 10 million yuan.

"However, it is still relatively difficult to offer a home butler service in China due to the lack of trust as rich families rarely hire strangers to take care of their houses," according to Fang Petersen, who runs The British Butler Institute's operation in China.

Most qualified butlers in China end up working in posh hotels and private clubs.

The average butler in a major luxury hotel can earn around $3,175 a month.

Real-estate companies are also tapping into the market as butler services have become a prerequisite rather than a bonus to sell a villa.​