A school careers event inspired me to become a Superyacht Cadet

UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship is a structured programme which equips graduates with a strong foundation of knowledge and realistic understanding of the burgeoning superyacht industry. A combination of academic study and practical paid employment on superyachts, the four-year programme was designed in consultation with the MCA. Cadets can also take a Plymouth University Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science leading to a full BSc – this course has joint qualifications with the merchant/commercial training route, enabling graduates to cross over into other sea-going pathways.

Joe Burnip with fellow Superyacht Cadets

Joe’s UKSA’s  journey into superyachting began at 8 years old!

Joe Burnip, a Phase One cadet, began his UKSA journey when he was 8 years old with H20 clubs. He obtained his RYA Dinghy Level 1 and 2 and when he was 13, he came back to us for a keelboating course. Originally from Cowes, he is from a family that was always on the water and he was once a Sea Scout and a Sea Cadet. Joe shares his story:

Joe Burnip onboard a yacht whilst training for the cadetship

What prompted you to join the Superyacht Cadetship?

“I found out about UKSA careers at a 6th Form Careers and Alternatives to Uni day, which led me to apply for the Cadetship – I didn’t get selected as I was only 17. I tried again when I was 19 and got a place which I deferred for a year, during which time I worked at an agency and at UKSA in sales and marketing. I also spent two months on a 75ft classic charter motor yacht which cruised around the Solent doing corporate charter experiences, so I gained some experience as a deckhand.”

Joe Burnip navigating a yacht on the solent

Did you get any financial support to help launch your Cadetship career?

“I received funding from both Seafarers and the Royal Yacht Squadron. Luckily I can pay the money back relatively soon – that’s one of the great things about the wages in this industry. Initially I found living in a small space with 6 others quite challenging but those guys soon became like my family – I’ve formed close bonds with lots of people. The course is very full on but mentoring is there if you seek it out and there are always people willing to help you.”

Joe Burnip with other Superyacht cadets whilst training for the professional cadetship

What type of yacht would you like your first superyacht job to be on?

“I’d like my first job to be on a 60m motor yacht. I’m looking for a long-term career, not seasonal jobs, and my aim is to progress through the ranks and experience life on different yachts. I am doing the Foundation Degree alongside the Cadetship and I intend to complete all phases of the Cadetship as a career is important to me.”

Top tips to anyone considering the Cadetship programme?

“If I was to advise someone about the Cadetship, I’d say come for an open day, talk to students and find out all you can. You have nothing to lose.”

Joe Burnip sitting on a yacht enjoying the sunset

Make the ocean your office: