Hugo Aspden came to UKSA to re-train after being made redundant from his role as an Operations Manager for a marquee company. Thanks to funding from Seafarers UK, Hugo was able to join our Professional Yacht Cadetship programme. He now has a long-term career ahead of him in the superyacht industry.

“I was made redundant back in 2011, so came to a UKSA open day to learn more about watersports. It looked great, so I joined the Watersports Instructor Training (WIT) programme. I thoroughly enjoyed the training and was then asked to work at UKSA for the 2011 summer season, progressing to Lead Instructor in my second season in 2012.

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During my time at UKSA I realised that I wanted a career at sea, so applied for the Professional Yacht Cadetship (PYC). I applied for a bursary to fund my studies from Seafarers UK, and thanks to their support I could pursue my new career path. Receiving the funding was a real lifesaver, as not only did it help with the initial costs of the course, it helped with kit costs and this meant I could start the course with the right equipment.

I secured my first job on-board a superyacht within a couple of days after graduating thanks to meeting a Cadet already working in the industry who had returned to UKSA for further training. Since my graduation from Phase One of the PYC, I have returned to UKSA for my Phase Three and Phase Five training (Phases Two and Four were spent working on superyachts). I am now working towards taking my Officer of the Watch (OOW) exam.

I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt at UKSA is the life experience you gain from being there; not only is it living away from home but also how to look after yourself and to self-motivate.”

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