The latest cohort of UKSA cadets have left our Cowes campus to find work within the superyacht industry following the end of the first phase of their training.

An awards ceremony was held to give them a send-off and hand out the certificates they have accumulated so far, including their Yachtmaster, during the first few months of their training on our flagship Superyacht Cadetship course. It was noted that they had endured a winter season of extremely harsh sailing conditions.

The ceremony was attended by proud parents and maritime industry professionals. Also in attendance were representatives of Seafarers UK and Trinity House – organisations that kindly sponsored a third of the cadets this year.

The Cadetship is a three-year finely structured career course which combines phases of training with paid work placements on superyachts, and includes a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science delivered in conjunction with Falmouth Marine School, validated by the University of Plymouth, and available to apply for through UCAS.

Emma Baggett, UKSA’s Industry and Cadetship Manager, said: “For the cadets, this the end of an intense six months where their knowledge and capabilities have taken a huge leap forward, and they have forged life-long friendships. They are now about to embark on the first steps to the rest of their professional careers. The combination of the most relevant training, mentoring, and personal support equips them with the right attitude and manner to enter the industry.

“We are fortunate in having our own dedicated industry guidance team, and the support of leading crew agents is instrumental in assisting the cadets in gaining their first position. With the first year of a degree and their Yachtmaster under their belts they have achieved a lot and experienced a highly pressured and focused learning environment. We look forward to following them as they progress within the industry, and welcoming them back to complete their future phases.”

Simon Davies, UKSA’s Director of Youth Development, added: “These cadets have had a fantastic time training but now they are going out into the industry for what will be an incredible exciting time for them. UKSA is all about giving these opportunities to young people, arming them with the knowledge, experience, qualifications, and skills needed going forward. We offer added value, not just the qualifications.”

Speaking before the ceremony, Sara Duncan, recruitment agent at Crew and Concierge, endorsed the cadetship. She said: “We are very fond of the programme and think it is fantastic. The fact there is a selection process is the winner, as it means each of these guys has been chosen because they have got something to offer.”

One of the youngest cadets is Matthew Hawkins, 18, who said: “I liked the whole experience – the camaraderie among the cadets, and everything you need being on one site, and all the different teaching methods. All my friends back home have either gone to uni or got part time jobs but I’m now flying to Antibes to get a job on a superyacht!”

Thomas Higgins, 22, who was sponsored by Trinity House, added: “It’s all been absolutely fantastic and now I’ve got a bright future ahead of me.” Shortly after the ceremony Thomas found out he had gained his first deck position onboard a high-profile 90m superyacht.

The awards were: Best Crew: Como (consisting of Jason Sivyer, Virginia Keig, Jake Howard, Sean Nathan and Edmund Hartley). Top Cadet: Sean Nathan. Top Academic Cadet: Jason Sivyer. Special Academic Awards: Archie Willis, Ed Craze, Virginia Keig. Special Achievement Awards: Calum Penn, William Phillips.

There is one Cadetship intake each year, in October. There is a selection process at various points throughout the year. For further information and guidance, call 01983 203038.