This week Vince Cable said Conservative Chancellor George Osborne’s spending cuts plan would mean significant university tuition fees rise.

The business secretary believes higher fees would be all but inevitable if the further £25bn of spending cuts goes ahead. Fees are currently capped at £9,000. Ironically, it was Cable himself as business secretary who oversaw the rise in these fees from their original £3,000.

The fees, combined with the difficulty many graduates find when seeking employment relevant to their studies or interests, has led to a sea change in perspective and a surge in young people looking for alternatives to university.

There’s not that much information out there about the alternatives, about the routes to gainful employment in relatively steady industries if you thinking of not going to uni.

This is where UKSA can help. Phoning the expert advisors at UKSA can really open people’s eyes to the sheer diversity of training available, many of which have funding routes and lead into paid employment. Whatever your budget, timescale or goals, there’s something to suit most young people.

These young people may never before have considered working at sea, working in holiday centres, working on superyachts – but these routes all have many positive benefits such as travelling the world, the challenge and camaraderie of working as a team, the chances to up-skill and turn a job into a career, and in many cases the chance of a lucrative pay packet.

Here’s a few examples of the direction your life could go:

Example 1: Activity holiday firm Neilson is working with UKSA offering funded training. Get selected by them and have nearly all your fully-residential training paid for (yachting or watersports, it’s up to you). By the Spring you’ll be working with Neilson as either a yacht skipper, yacht trainer or watersports instructor and you’ll have a contract of guaranteed employment. Where in the world will you be in 2015?!

Example 2: If you get selected for the flagship Superyacht Cadetship, life will never be the same again! You’ll form lifelong friendships as you train throughout the winter with your crew on our yachts, to get your seafaring qualifications. If you don’t have the initial funds, you could be offered a bursary, or we can advise you on getting a loan. By the Spring you’ll have secured yourself a placement on a superyacht or you’ll be dockwalking to find yourself your first position, and it won’t be long before you’ll be earning the sort of money most young people can only dream of. You’ll keep coming back to UKSA for different phases of training, to progress your career in this fascinating industry. If you’re careful with your earnings, by the end of your training you’ll come out of it debt free, with a range of qualifications (which could include a foundation degree) and a dream career.

Example 3: Pay to do any one of our training courses (eg. Professional Yachtmaster Offshore, Superyacht Interior Foundation, Superyacht Crew Training) and get yourself out in the maritime industry earning your keep. Once you’ve been working a while you’ll have your course paid off and you’ll be the envy of your friends as you enjoy your pay packet each month. Jess is a fine example of this. She did our Professional Yachtmaster Ocean and is living proof that if you work hard you can progress quickly and earn well from an early age. Jess explains: “I began hunting around online and quickly realised that UKSA offered the best value, high quality training and I plumped for their 23-week ‘Ocean Graduate’ course because it’s like a fast-track apprenticeship that gives you the qualifications, practical sailing experience, engineer and maintenance skills and personal development opportunities required to work on all types of yachts. It was hard work at times but so rewarding.

“I learnt so much and also made some friends for life, plus because of UKSA’s excellent industry contacts I was quickly working and living around the Mediterranean as a freelance. I also did some racing onboard Farr 65s (the prestigious Fastnet from Cowes-Ireland-Plymouth was a real highlight) as well as a lot of corporate charter work, which pays really well. You can potentially double your salary via tips and get all your food and living expenses covered, so with a bit of careful planning I was going entire seasons without spending anything.

“However, to progress further and quicker I needed to get into teaching, so of course I turned to UKSA again and their RYA Cruising Instructor course for up to Day Skipper level. Again, it was brilliant fun, yet so thorough, and I landed a job in the Caribbean off the back of the experience. It was glamorous and an idyllic location, but I swapped it all for Cowes again to get my higher Yachtmaster Instructor level – and then UKSA offered me an actual instructor job!

“I’ve finally found my niche and couldn’t be happier; giving something back to the youngsters who are just like I was a few years ago and also having a more permanent base after three years living out of a suitcase. It stood me in good stead though as I was able to save enough money to buy a two-bedroom house on the island and give myself both financial security and total job satisfaction at an early age.”

Our monthly open days are a good place to start. Call us today on 01983 203038.