In the interest of promoting the superyacht industry to new entrants, John Wyborn, Bluewater’s representative at The Worldwide Yachting Association (MYBA), has published a discussion paper encouraging the industry to come forward with suggestions for UK education qualifications that would prepare young people for a career in the superyacht industry. Now that MYBA is a member of the UK Maritime Skills Alliance (MSA), the superyacht industry is in a position, via the MSA, to establish qualifications to meet the needs of the industry.

In the paper, entitled ‘What should MYBA do now that it is a member of the UK Maritime Skills Alliance?’, Wyborn rallies the industry to “work together – principally brokers, management companies and build/refit yards, to define what skills are required for new entrants”. He notes this is not an easy task, but that MYBA’s joining of the MSA “is a real opportunity to do something concrete to make changes.” He also points towards the recent attempts by the Professional Yachting Association (PYA) to engage with the Superyacht Builders Association (SYBAss) to raise these issues – SYBAss has decided not to participate, but Wyborn expands and states, “I know that individually many of them share my concerns, even if collectively they could not agree."

A recent example of what the MSA can do for the superyacht industry with its creation of Maritime Studies Qualifications (MSQs) is the change to engineering qualifications. Our superyacht engineers will be equally qualified to work on fishing boats, tugs and workboats, and the crew from those sectors will also be able to work on superyachts. “All this was achieved with very little input from the superyacht industry,” states Wyborn. “There is much more that we can do if we have the will do it.”

"If we want UK schools and colleges to produce young people with skills relevant to our industry we need to get involved."

Once the MSA is aware of the need for a particular skill, it is in a position to create the qualification and place it within one of the UK’s qualification frameworks, which in turn means the UK government could fund them. “If we want UK schools and colleges to produce young people with skills relevant to our industry we need to get involved,” Wyborn states.

“Wouldn’t it be good if in a year or two, those coming down from the UK to find work on a superyacht already knew something of what will be expected of them?” suggests Wyborn. “For example, the basics of high level service, how to greet guests, how to care for them in a tender, how to clean properly, how to maintain two-part paint and varnish coatings? It is up to us. The UK education system will train and educate the candidates if we make clear what we need, and then employ them.”

Wyborn suggests the new engineering qualifications that allow people to move between maritime sectors should be mirrored in the deck industry, particular with crew wanting to break the 3,000gt ‘glass ceiling’. He also reveals that via the PYA’s GUEST (Guidelines for Unified Excellence in Service Training), is in the process of being mapped across to existing UK service qualifications, but need some superyacht specific units – something that can be done through the MSA.

Wyborn concludes the paper by rallying the industry to come forward. “The first step is to define what we need to do. Send an email with ‘MSA’ in the subject field and list the four most important skills you would like to see in a crewmember fresh to the industry.”

If you are emailing from a management or charter company, contact MYBA at; if you are a crewmember contact the PYA at; and anyone is welcome to contact Wyborn at

View the full discussion paper here.