UKSA Trustee Recruitment

UKSA is a leading maritime charity based on the Isle of Wight. It provides adventures for 8,000 children and delivers maritime training, educational and employment opportunities to over 1500 professional career students to work within the growing global maritime sector each year. For 35 years, UKSA has been providing transformational on-the-water experiences and widening access to maritime employment for those young people and individuals who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.

Further detail

We are a youth, education and maritime training charity based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, founded in 1987 by Noel and Sylvia Lister specifically to educate and enrich the lives of young people. This ethos continues to be the bedrock of UKSA ‘s commitment to offer life-changing experiences as well as training leading to genuine job opportunities and career enhancement.  We are proud to have HRH Princess Anne as our Patron for over 25 years, and she takes a very active interest in the organisation as well as lending support to our capital appeals.

The UKSA is also a key player in the maritime training sector. It is the largest RYA accredited Training Centre in the world, as well as the world’s biggest single-site provider of MCA (Maritime Coastguard Agency) Professional Yacht and Deck Training. It offers courses at all levels up to Captain for Superyachts. The UKSA prides itself in providing pathways, progression and bursaries to help those who would not otherwise have the opportunity to earn maritime professional qualifications.

Facts, Figures and Funding Model

We turnover approximately £7m a year. Before the global pandemic in 2019/20 UKSA welcomed 10,507 individuals p.a., an increase of 20% from 2019/20, with Schools and Groups seeing a 24% increase year on year. In 2022/23 we anticipate that we will be back to more normal operating levels, and we hope to exceed the volumes and impact that we have previously achieved.

The UKSA has invested in its future with a £4.4m capital project which was completed in July 2022 and will enhance onsite facilities and student accommodation on the Cowes site. This follows the successful completion of our Superyacht Training Centre in 2019 and the purchase of four new yachts into our training fleet.

The UKSA is a Registered Charity (Charity No 299248) limited by Guarantee which means that it is also a Registered Limited Company (Company number 02251024). The UKSA operates a blended funding model with its income coming from a mixture of grants and donations, partner and bursary funding, and revenue from training courses. As a not-for-profit, any surpluses are reinvested to develop the services the charity provides for its beneficiaries. All our beneficiaries receive the same professional, inspirational experience and service when they are with us, regardless of their funding source. Please see the “UKSA Funding Model” document for more detail.

📄 UKSA Funding Model

Governance and Trustee Board

We have a board of eight Trustees who collectively ensure that the UKSA always acts in the best interest of its beneficiaries and meets its strategic objectives. The existing Trustees have a broad range of expertise in areas including the maritime sector, business, education, property and safeguarding, risk and safety.

Three Trustees are expected to retire in September 2024; therefore, we are searching for three new Trustees to start in early 2023 to ensure there is a smooth handover.

We have four Trustee board meetings per annum and these are held in person at UKSA’s base in Cowes. If Trustees wish to come the night before we can generally provide accommodation.

There are four subcommittees with delegated powers, each chaired by a Trustee. It is expected that each Trustee will be a member of a relevant subcommittee.

They meet quarterly and these meetings can be held in person or via Zoom, to ensure that each key operational area has sufficient Trustee scrutiny and oversight. These are

  • Finance
  • Future Income Streams
  • Operational Risk
  • Capital Development

Terms of Appointment

 Trustees will serve an initial four-year term, with annual appraisal, and be eligible for re-appointment for up to two further additional terms. Under exceptional circumstances, this will be extended on an annual basis.

The position is voluntary and reasonable and pre-agreed domestic travel expenses will be paid in line with UKSA’s Trustee Code.

📄 UKSA Trustee Code

  • four boards meetings a year – March, June, September & December (held in person in Cowes approx. 2-3hr meeting)
  • four sub-committee meetings a year, held 2 weeks prior to the main board meeting (held remotely or in person in Cowes one to two hour meeting)
  • one Annual Strategy planning Day – held in Cowes
  • represent the Charity at various events and meetings with key stakeholders – two to four annual events

Desired skills and experience

We are looking for trustees who are committed and passionate about providing life-changing water-based adventures to children and education and training for young people to gain employment and forge careers in the maritime sector.

We are specifically looking for candidates with experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • Chair of Operational Risk Sub Committee

We are seeking an individual to Chair UKSA’s Operational Risk Sub Committee. We will ensure a structured period of handover and training during 2023 with the existing Chair and CEO, to ensure the new candidate is able to take over and chair the subcommittee effectively.

The Chair of Operational Risk will work closely with the CEO and Executive team on ensuring, Health and Safety, wellbeing, and the Safeguarding of all UKSA’s staff and students is encompassed in everything we do.

The chair will provide support and challenge to the Chief Executive and Executive Team, working as an effective sounding board.

The core purpose of the Subcommittee is to:

  • Consider and advise on UKSA policies for Health & Safety, Safeguarding and Operational Risk, statutory or otherwise and monitor and review their effectiveness
  • Review Operational Risk (non-financial) and mitigating actions in relation to the UKSA Risk Matrix
  • Review the annual Internal Audit plan and review the learnings and investigation outcomes
  • Promote Health & Safety, Safeguarding and welfare of all persons when on UKSA premises and of staff and students when engaged in UKSA activities. This includes the training of staff and members of the group as appropriate
  • The Subcommittee and Executive team pro-actively review the major risks the charity faces, to ensure sufficient mitigations and controls are in place to operate the charity safely and effectively and advise the Trustees of any changes to the charities risk profile
  • Review the Executive Team’s recommendations regarding relevant forthcoming legislation, assess the implications and where appropriate endorse the implementation of policy and procedural change to ensure legal compliance and safe working practices.

📄  Operational Risk Subcommittee Terms of Reference

Education and Youth Development –seeking an individual with current senior experience within one or several of the following sectors/areas to help widen UKSA’s reach and influence in our aim to support the most deserving children to attend UKSA’s programmes:

  • State schools
  • Multi Academy Trusts
  • Youth development sector
  • Children and young people’s welfare

These are all areas that UKSA works in and is seeking to have wider experience within at board level

Marine Sector Employment & Careers – we are looking for an individual who has current senior experience and networks within the maritime sector to help widen UKSA’s reach, influence and connections for supporting our students into employment and help increase the levels of support the charity receives from the sector. Specific experience and connections within one or a number of the following areas:

  • UK Government Maritime 2050 strategy
  • Superyachting
  • Commercial shipping – including windfarms, tugboats, commercial maritime employment
  • Watersports and yachting holiday/leisure sector

Desirable additional skills and experience include

  • Strategic Business Leadership
  • Finance
  • Fundraising

👁‍🗨 UKSA Strategy Video

📄 UKSA 2021/22 Annual Report and Accounts

📄 UKSA Memorandum and Articles


  • Please send a covering letter and a CV to [email protected]
  • Closing date is 7 November 2022
  • If selected interviews will be held between 28th November and 1st December

It is envisaged that the successful candidates will be appointed at the December 2022 Trustee Meeting.


UKSA welcomes applications from everyone regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, faith or disability. All appointments will be made on merit, following a fair and transparent process. In line with the Equality Act 2010, however, the organisation may employ positive action where candidates from underrepresented groups can demonstrate their ability to perform the role equally well.

📄 UKSA Equal Opportunities, Inclusion and Diversity Policy

Accreditation Logos

Established in 2004, Mindful Employer is a UK wide initiative run by Devon Partnership NHS Trust. Providing employers with easier access to professional Workplace Mental Health training, information and support, the initiative aims to help empower employers to take a lead in supporting the mental wellbeing of their staff. By signing the ‘Charter for Employer Positive About Mental Health’, UKSA have made a public statement of our desire to support the mental health of our staff across the organisation.