A few years ago, there was lots of talk about how the superyacht industry needed to mirror the commercial sector’s cadetships, offering, in this case, superyacht crew a chance to be educated at the same time as laying the foundations for a career – not just a job – in the industry.

Back then, the UKSA was really the only school offering a cadetship, relaunched in 2015 as its Professional Yacht Cadetship (PYC). But in 2016, Warsash Superyacht Academy became the second school to offer a superyacht-specific cadetship. So what’s the difference between the two?

The UKSA’s four-year Professional Yacht Cadetship has been designed to provide a structured progression through the Royal Yachting Association’s (RYA) scheme to MCA Deck Officer training, leading to the MCA OOW (Yachts less than 3,000gt). The cadetship combines phases of training at UKSA alongside paid work placements on board superyachts, and also offers the option of a foundation degree in Operational Yacht Science.

Warsash Superyacht Academy’s cadetship’s takes three years and, in collaboration with Trinity House, is specifically tailored to the superyacht industry, while resulting in the MCA OOW (Unlimited) ticket. The programme consists of five phases that alternate between academic studies and time at sea to gain practical experience on board superyachts and commercial vessels. Students also gain full academic exemption for the study towards Chief Mate (Unlimited) and a foundation degree in Marine Operations or Marine Engineering with the option with the option of an honours top-up degree.

And while it’s not our place to put one against the other – after all, both are doing brilliant things in offering formal career paths for those serious about a career on board superyachts – it’s worth pointing out a key benefit of each.

"It is fairly unusual for someone to come in with an OOW ticket, particularly with an Unlimited ticket, as most crew start their career as deckhands and then work their way up."

Those taking part in the UKSA Professional Yacht Cadetship will benefit from the UKSA’s industry guidance and mentoring (something also offered from Warsash), and something the UKSA is particularly proud to talk about. In short, students keep in touch with the school on a regular basis. “Even when you are working on board a yacht in a different country, friendly and positive advice form one of our course managers is only a phone call away,” explains Dan Snook, a deckhand on 45m sailing yacht Salperton, and who trained up through the cadetship.

Those choosing the Warsash route will have the benefit of achieving a ‘larger’, Unlimited ticket – something that, as the superyacht fleet grows in tonnage, will serve to give its students more career options. “In terms of starting out in the superyacht industry, it is fairly unusual for someone to come in with an OOW ticket, particularly with an Unlimited ticket, as most crew start their career as deckhands and then work their way up,” explain Lottie Astbury, in her first year of the cadetship. “Therefore I think the cadetship will speed up my career progression in the long run.”

Bryony McCabes delves into more detail on the two cadetships in Issue 82 of The Crew Report. Pick up your copy at the Monaco Yacht Show, at stand QE9, or download your copy now.

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