In our industry, there are many stakeholders that would benefit from the continued improvement of crew and their training. However, the focus on training is often driven by the captain or the individual crewmember themselves, but should private companies take more interest in encouraging qualifications?

For junior crew, the increasing demands of certificates and qualifications in order to progress in the industry can be daunting, but one management company has developed a programme designed to provide crew with a chance to win scholarships for their training.

Edge Yachts, a management company based in Fort Lauderdale and Barcelona, introduced the EDGEucation Scholarship at the beginning of 2017 and recently unveiled the first winner of their HELM course at the MYBA charter show in late April. The winner, Tyrone Sharpe, M/Y DeDe, plans to commence his training this autumn.

Speaking to SuperyachtNews, Mikaela Favill, programme manager for Edge Yachts, emphasised that the reason behind this programme is to encourage deckhands to embrace the training available to them in the industry, as well as ensure our industry is developing the next-generation of senior crew. “It’s education, it’s the structure that you implement at the beginning that helps the deckhands get up to be captains and run the boats.”

For those behind the scholarship, it’s vital to focus on more than just the certificate and instil a wider sense of responsibility in junior crew. As Favill explains, “It’s to get in their minds to not just be compliant but to be safety aware, and that ultimately stems from education.” The implementation of the scholarship was spearheaded by Anthony Sands, CEO and founder of Edge Yachts, who saw this as an opportunity to reward crew who see yachting as a career, and are dedicated to improving their role within the industry.

The programme will also include scholarships for courses in advanced firefighting, proficiency in medical and ECDIS, which will be rolled out throughout the year. Favill also revealed plans to extend the scholarships to interior courses, in order to reach the maximum amount of crew. Crew can enter the draw by visiting the Edge Yacht's Facebook page.

It’s encouraging to see private companies investing in the value of crew on an industry-wide scale, not just on their own yachts. Ultimately, this will lead to a higher amount of skilled crew, which can only benefit the rest of the industry.

 Image copyright: Tim Thomas, The Superyacht Group

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