Cadets Offered Superyacht Training Opportunity

Superyacht management company Hill Robinson is sponsoring four cadets through a three-year officer training programme at sea.

The scheme provides training opportunities for young people enrolling on maritime officer cadetships. It is part of Merchant Navy Scholarship Scheme run by Trinity House. 

The four cadets are Lucy Gilbert, Daniel Hamilton, Matt Kipping and Ben Saunders. Lucy is from Essex, Daniel, from Lymington, Ben Saunders from Bury St Edmonds and Matt is from East Sussex.

The four fended off stiff competition to gain their placements.  Now they will train towards achieving the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) certification as a Deck or Marine Engineer Officer of the Watch (Unlimited).

The cadets recently took their first step to becoming superyacht officers.

Cadet management is provided by maritime consultancy Just Be Maritime.  And training is provided by Warsash Maritime School, 

Having been fully engaged in the recruitment and selection process, Hill Robinson is positive the successful candidates all have a promising career ahead of them.

“We had many high-calibre applicants,” said Paul Cook, Hill Robinson’s Chief Operating Officer. “We were particularly looking for candidates interested in forging a long-term career in the superyacht industry and those that would take full advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” 

After achieving her RYA Yachtmaster Offshore qualification and spending the summer as a flotilla skipper in the Mediterranean, Lucy Gilbert is grateful to secure the sponsorship.

She said: “Working with these companies is an amazing opportunity. Adding “I’m excited to gain diverse experience in the Merchant Navy, with the ultimate goal of captaining a superyacht.”

Deck officer route

Ben Saunders is also pursuing the deck officer route. He gained valuable experience as a deckhand on several 50m-plus superyachts, including the Zen and Belongers. Ben is eager to take his passion for the industry further and embrace the extensive skills and knowledge that training towards a commercial maritime ticket will provide.

Daniel Hamilton is undertaking the marine engineer officer cadetship after discovering an interest in engineering during his tenure on superyachts. He completed an apprenticeship at Berthon Boat Company.  Daniel worked as a carpenter on board three superyachts and, during refit periods, enjoyed closely collaborating with the engineering team to carry out maintenance and upgrades.

Engineer officer cadetship

Also enrolled on the marine engineer officer cadetship is Matt Kipping.  He has been working as a superyacht deckhand for the past five years. Matt recently realised engineering is his true calling and looks forward to developing his skills.

As the cadets progress throughout the scheme and in their careers, Hill Robinson will provide mentoring and look to find them employment within their fleet supported by the Hill Robinson Crew Recruitment arm.

Sponsoring more cadets

The company also plans to continue investing in the initiative, sponsoring more cadets while encouraging its clients to engage with the programme for their own crew.

Paul added. “Crew play a fundamental role in ensuring excellent operational and technical standards onboard our yachts to fully realise our clients’ expectations. As such, we recognise the benefits of attracting high-calibre candidates and training them. As a company, we have a responsibility to give back to the industry. We can do this by helping grow the prospects of young people within it.”

Captain Nigel Hope, Director of Maritime Training Trinity House MNSS, is pleased to be engaged in the partnership. He said: “Joint venture partnerships create additional opportunities for young people to follow a career in maritime. Doing so supports the Corporation of Trinity House objective for education and training.”