As they graduate a new generation of students are weighing up their career and training options because of these economic pressures. Worried about expensive tuition fees, graduate unemployment rates and leaving university saddled with debt many are choosing instead a career at sea working on super yachts.
The Isle of Wight-based youth charity UKSA is a maritime training provider and has 12 places left to fill on its Yachting Cadetship Programme, a structured three-year apprenticeship. This includes a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science with Plymouth University.
Training begins in October of this year and will allow cadets to ‘earn whilst they learn’ and train for a career in super yachts.
These places are part funded via bursaries from the UK’s principal maritime charities, Trinity House and Seafarers UK who do so under the Professional Yachtsman’s Bursary Scheme. This initiative was set up by Trinity House to encourage young people into professional careers at sea in the super yacht sector. It makes the Cadetships accessible to everyone and an immediately viable option for those considering vocational training over the traditional university career path.
The bursaries cover the first months of training, which takes place at the UKSA’s Cowes campus. It amounts to a minimum of £14,000 worth of assistance/funding.
It also includes a handy living allowance of £200 per month during this time.
Once employed as entry level professional deckhands in phase two of the course, students can typically earn €2000 a month tax free working in locations across the Mediterranean, Caribbean and worldwide.
Trinity House 2013 bursary applicants have to attend a two day Cadetship Selection on either 27/28th June or 9/10th July, with those who pass attending a final interview in London on 23rd July.
The Seafarers UK bursary follows a similar application process but is open to candidates throughout the summer.
UKSA Director, Daryl Pride, explains: “All things considered, vocational training seems to be the new university – and ours is particularly in demand because of these bursaries on offer. Our yachting cadets can easily graduate debt-free because of what they earn during what amounts to some two years of paid work placements, plus food and accommodation is included in the cost of training.
These bursaries are an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the right candidates and geared towards MCA Officer of the Watch qualification.
Applicants should be between 18 and 25 years old, have obtained at least 120 UCAS points and have high grade passes in GCSE Maths and English. They should be highly motivated, proactive and have a strong work ethic and professional attitude.
Candidates must be seeking a genuine alternative to university and also demonstrate a keen desire for a long term career in the super yacht industry – and whilst previous water sports and/or yachting experience is highly desirable, it is not essential.
The three year course is a highly successful, structured programme and the recognition and support from highly respected maritime organisations like Trinity House and Seafarers UK is an effective endorsement of the UKSA Yachting Cadetship as a viable and practical career path alongside the traditional commercial routes or conventional university study.
There are already over 100 cadets at various stages of their training working in the industry and it’s our relationships with crew agents and captains themselves that make the cadetship so successful. This support, which carries on throughout their careers, is unique to UKSA.