Opportunities are arising to ‘blood’ the next generation of superyacht professionals across the globe, it seems, following a series of announcements.

In Fort Lauderdale the Yacht Captains Association (YCA) has entered into a Memorandum of understanding with Nova Southeastern University’s (NSU) Hudson Center of Entrepreneurship and Executive Education to provide leadership training to captains and crewmembers, while undertaking collaborative research into pertinent industry topics.

“From the outset, our founding leadership team has been dedicated to developing innovative opportunities for captains and crew interested in enhancing their careers through continuing education and executive leadership training,” said Captain Ian Bone, co-founder and Board Chair of YCA.  “Providing our member captains a pathway to complement their already extensive on board management experience with tertiary academic credentials and specialised executive programmes, while connecting them into the worldwide network of NSU alumni and faculty, can only expand their options in the future.”

And at the nearby Maritime Professional Training Inc. school work is about to begin on a 2,323sqm expansion of the site. The project, which will cost around ¢5 million, will double the size of the school’s simulation facility and provide more educational tools for the 10,000 students that come through the doors each year, making it the largest school of its kind in the US.

“This expansion builds on our current SMART Campus simulation facility,” explained COO Captain Ted Morley, “bringing the latest technology for deck and engine room simulation to the industry. It represents the most state-of-the-art simulation in the country, and the fact that we are locating it in South Florida is a testament to our commitment to the marine industry here.”

Across the pond active holiday specialist, Nielsen has teamed up with the UK Sailing Academy to offer students a 13-week ‘Professional Yachtmaster’ qualification, which it will subsidise to the tune of 70 per cent. This will enable those with a passion for sailing, but perhaps not the financial means to gain the required qualification, the chance to be a skipper.

In keeping with the nurturing of new talent, Sir Ben Ainslie was on hand to honour 49 apprentices from the superyacht sector at the recent British Marine Federation Apprenticeship Graduation. Apprentice schemes have been encouraged within the UK sector for many years and notable companies include Green Marine, Pendennis and Sunseeker.

Sir BenAinslie (third left) with the new school of Pendennis graduates.

Commenting on the value of the initiative, Pendennis’ Mike Carr, who is chairman of Superyacht UK said, “It was fantastic to see such overwhelming support and recognition of the importance of apprenticeships.  It was a huge honour for the Pendennis apprentices to be congratulated by Sir Ben Ainslie, as he sailed as a boy in Cornwall, a stone’s throw away from the shipyard.”

News that Sir Ben Ainslie has had a £7.5 million government grant to boost the marine industry by training apprentices, as part of his current bid for a British America’s Cup team, made this year’s BMF graduation event all the more significant. “To maintain the high quality and success of UK services in the marine sector that we currently hold, we must invest and commit to developing the talent of the future”, Sir Ben added.

Profile links

Maritime Professional Training Inc (MPT)

British Marine Federation

Green Marine Offshore Composites Ltd.


Sunseeker International Ltd

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