Case studies

Laura Ellis

Phase 3 – Superyacht Cadet

Cadetships at UKSA enable both women and men seeking a career in the superyacht industry to gain a competitive edge over others looking for similar employment. Our Superyacht Cadetship offers a stimulating alternative to university and provides high-quality vocational training.

Since graduating from Phase 1 of the cadetship where have you worked?

Since completing phase one of our five-phase Cadetship, Laura Ellis has worked as Mate on two sailing yachts, sailed across the Atlantic on a 39ft yacht and raced on classic yachts in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. She returned to UKSA in November 2017 to complete phase three of the Cadetship; she has since gained Yachtmaster Ocean and Efficient Deckhand (EDH). Laura shares her story:

Why did you choose the cadetship over university?

“At school, I was racing dinghies competitively and teaching sailing. I left with good grades but couldn’t find a University degree course that interested me, so I decided to carry on with what I enjoyed doing. I worked as a dinghy instructor in Scotland, Australia and Spain, teaching and coaching racing level to children and adults. Despite really enjoying being an instructor, I realised after a few seasons that it wasn’t a career and I wasn’t earning enough money.

“For a woman seeking a career within the maritime industry, UKSA provided the perfect solution.”

How did you come across UKSA?

I heard about UKSA through other dinghy racers and instructors who had completed courses there. I knew I wanted to continue sailing so I searched for career options at sea and decided that I wanted to sail superyachts. I began the Cadetship in order to gain the qualifications that would take my sailing career to the next level.

What was it like during your Phase 1?

I formed a close bond with my crew at UKSA as we spent 6 months sailing together – I sailed both of the Farr 65s, Whirlwind and Albatross. While I was doing my training I socialised with other crew members who were returning to do further courses and I made good friends and industry contacts, which proved useful when I was looking for a job. For a woman seeking a career within the maritime industry, UKSA provided the perfect solution.

I am now finishing a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science which can be taken alongside the Cadetship. Once I’ve finished the degree I’ll be looking for my next exciting adventure on a sailing yacht.”

To find out more about our Superyacht Cadetships please visit

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