Wirral taxi drivers are being trained to act as ambassadors for the borough.

Drivers from Hackney and private hire firms will receive the same training as was given to volunteers working at the London Olympic Games in 2012.

The sessions come ahead of the Open Golf Championship at Hoylake in July, and the International Festival for Business later in the summer.

Cabbies are being given "ambassador training", designed to build on customer service training they already receive, giving them the skills and confidence to deal with visitors from around the world.

The "WorldHost" training gives drivers an understanding of how important visitors are to the local economy and about how uniquely placed they are as taxi and private hire drivers to influence their experience of visiting the area.

They will be encouraged to find out about all the things that are going on in the region this summer and about the established attractions in order to pass on their knowledge to our visitors.

Councillor Bill Davies, chairman of Wirral Council’s licensing committee, said: “Wirral and the wider Liverpool City Region will be firmly in the spotlight this year so it is vital that we do what we can to maximise the opportunities the events taking place this year offer us.

“We want visitors to not just take away fantastic memories of the events they are coming here to attend, we also want them to remember how friendly, knowledgeable and approachable local people were, backed up by world class customer service, and Wirral’s taxi drivers will be at the forefront of that.”

Workers in other service sectors in Wirral, such as retail businesses, hotels and restaurants, are also receiving WorldHost training.

The first half-day session took place at Wallasey Town Hall on Monday.

The training is being given locally and for free, made possible due to funding from the Skills For Growth Bank, which Merseylearn - a partnership initiative between Merseytravel, Unionlearn and People1st – have accessed for this purpose in conjunction with Liverpool ONE and Visit Liverpool.

To sign up for future sessions, which will run up until June, visit www.merseylearn.net, email worldhost@merseytravel.gov.uk or call 0151 330 1180.