27 Jun 2012
UKSA £25,000 bursary scheme tackles crew retention
By Lulu Trask
Crew retention has been a long-standing problem for the superyacht industry, and owners in particular. However UKSA has introduced a new bursary scheme for youngsters wishing to enter the yachting world, which has the potential to turn the long-standing problem into a new wave of crew longevity.
At The Superyacht Group’s 2011 Superyacht Owners’ Summit, the necessity for crew to view yachting as a long-term career revealed itself as a prominent issue for the industry. Laurence Reymann, YPI Crew Consultant and Recruitment Consultant, shone light on the sought-after solution to the ongoing problem: “The key is to find the people for whom the industry will be suitable. Not just for one season but for a career. That is a challenge.
“One always should allow for movements, but the top people should and can be retained successfully long-term if given the attention.”
As highlighted in Issue 1 of The Superyacht Owner, captain Andrew Schofield has worked for the owner of White Rose of Drachs for a decade, Charles Heckroodt started as the deck-hand on board Loretta Anne, and worked his way up to the position of captain, whilst captain Chris Gartner of The Maltese Falcon has worked for the same owner for a number of years: beginning his yachting career on board Andromeda la Dea as a deck-steward rising to the position of officer, he then moved to Mariette becoming her captain, following which he became captain of The Maltese Falcon. Longevity does exist in this arena, though it lies with the few, not the many.
Youth charity and maritime training provider UKSA, however, has now made available bursaries worth £25,000, granted by Seafarers UK, for youngsters between 18 and 25 wishing to become professional crewmembers on board luxury yachts. The scheme, according to UKSA's Director of Youth Development, Simon Davies, means there are no barriers in getting people into the industry. The bursaries are likely to attract those who have the necessary passion for yachting but lack the funds to manifest it. As a result, it is hoped the scheme will produce long-term crewmembers, combating a key area of owner dissatisfaction.
"Commitment needs to be taken seriously from the word go by the cadets,” said Emma Baggett of UKSA, speaking exclusively to SuperyachtNews.com. “Having gone through a selection process they then are expected to achieve at the very highest level throughout their training. They are young at only eighteen to twenty-five, so they've got time on their side to join at an entry deck-hand position and work their way up in the industry, gradually moving on through positions and on to bigger boats.
“With this combination of professional experience and qualification, supported by on board training, realistic long-term goals are achievable. Equipped with a strong work ethic and the support of the cadetship scheme these young people are focused on long-term careers within the industry."
UKSA Profile | UKSA Website
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