Career Training

A world of opportunity

Whether you are a career change professional transferring your skills from another sector, or a young person embarking on your first career-the yachting industry needs you.

The industry’s phenomenal growth has resulted in a global shortage of well trained and qualified professionals to occupy a range of challenging opportunities. The job offers received by our careers department consistently exceed the numbers of students that we are training each year and our career consultant is constantly asking us to increase our recruitment and selection to satisfy the demand:


371 new yachts over 25m under construction at the time of going to press (235 of which are over 30m, 51 of which are over 50m, 10 of which are over 100m).

Many of the top yacht yards have in excess of a 5-year waiting list for new builds.

There are 15 new builds underway that cannot find skippers.

Owners have to enrol on our courses to get qualified themselves in the light of current qualified skipper shortages.

The World Superyacht Review stated a 230% growth in the yachting industry last year.

One of our Skipper Training students was taken on to the payroll of a super-yacht in week 10 of his training programme.

Graduates are emerging from our Skipper Training course with as many as 6 job offers from around the world to choose from.


We have had up to 100 spare instructor vacancies on the jobs bulletin board at any one time.

Companies have been seeking the inbound flight times of our Professional Instructor Training (PIT) courses from Barbados so that they can recruit our graduates as they land.

Some companies have recruited whole resort teams, from the Manager down, from our student database.

One company even requested to do a presentation in the first week of the PIT course to see if they could recruit likely candidates right at the start.

Major UK watersports leisure companies report a sustained growth of 25% p.a.

Many watersports companies are talking of a global shortage of qualified instructors.

Job opportunities
98% of our Graduates seeking work in the industry are employed within 2 months of Graduation.
There are currently in excess of 500 companies and yachts recruiting directly from us – some of whom may take as many as 20 graduates a year. In total there are over 3,000 new job opportunities being created in the industry annually. We are only training around one tenth of that, so you can immediately see how the ratio of jobs to graduates is working in your favour. Our global network of contacts, built up over the last decade and continually expanding, brings many of these opportunities to the UKSA. For example, our alumni (UKSA graduates) are now working all over the world and many are now acting as employers within the industry. They automatically approach the UKSA first to fill their requirements.

What about the salaries?
In the beginning we did it for love…love of the sport, love of the outdoors or love of the sea. In fact 20 years ago permanent jobs were pretty hard to find and pay was low if it was available at all. Fortunately, things have changed. The huge demand for well trained staff has led to rapidly escalating remuneration levels. It is not unusual to hear of superyacht skippers paid well in excess of £100,000 p.a. (often tax free / all found). In watersports starting salaries of £24,000 are not unheard of (see case studies). Now you no longer have to sacrifice your earning potential to achieve the lifestyle you want.

How have new industry regulations created opportunities for UKSA graduates?

Is the UKSA for the UK industry only?

How is UKSA respected in the industry?

Are there jobs available once I finish a course?

What about salaries?

I’ve been working in another industry for 10 years, is it too late to take up a career in watersports?

New regulations herald the need for properly trained and qualified staff
In watersports the Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority regularly inspects centres around the UK and recognises National Governing Body awards as the only proof of competence. The constant threat of litigation has forced many centres to abandon the use of unqualified staff and most will now only employ instructors with a minimum of three disciplines at instructor level with the prerequisite powerboat, first aid, Short Range Radio and lifesaving qualifications. In addition, the overseas market has become increasingly sophisticated, and operators have realised that they cannot get away with unqualified instructors. This drive to provide quality watersports has resulted in a global shortage of qualified instructors, waterfront managers and resort managers and as a result salaries are starting to soar.

On the yachting side the same has occurred. The Marine Coastguard Agency (MCA) started with their regulation of Pilot Boats, Sail Training Vessels and Charter boats and this has been closely followed by increased enforcement of the MCA regulations for private yachts. The MCA is now internationally recognised as the benchmark for construction and as a result many yards are now building to MCA standards. This has impressed on many skippers and owners the need to man their vessels to MCA levels. The insurers have in many cases reinforced this position by refusing to insure a vessel unless the qualifications of the staff meet MCA requirements. The net result of this tightening up of the regulations is that many of the existing workforce are having to come back and re-train if they want to retain their existing jobs.

Our Graduates have a distinct advantage over the others in the workplace because of the range of skills and qualifications they hold and as a result they often get promoted more rapidly and have a greater earning potential.

The MCA, RYA and other UK awarding bodies have long been recognised as offering the best qualifications globally and provide the basis for the competitive advantage that our training will give you.
A global market for a global industry
20% of our clients come from overseas and approximately 90% of the job opportunities that we find are based overseas. We are constantly adapting to the challenges and demands of communicating with our network of global contacts. Our Graduates can subscribe to our free weekly e-mail jobs bulletin board to keep them in touch with the new jobs in the industry. We also circulate our twice-yearly newsletter, Wavefront, to keep Graduates up to date with other industry news and the additions to our training programmes. Finally this site offers an up to date picture of the Academy and its activities 24 hours a day.

The cutting edge of training development
Many training establishments tend to follow in the wake of employment needs – we lead. The quality of our graduates and the customer feedback they generate has convinced many companies of the commercial value of well trained and qualified staff. National governing bodies have adopted some of our proven training concepts and other companies around the globe have attempted to copy our training programmes. We are currently in discussions with six countries around the world who wish to adopt our model for their National Centres.

A change of lifestyle?
At least 70% of our client base consists of ‘career change’ professionals. People who for one reason or another have decided it’s time for a change.

Over the years these have included the likes of doctors, dentists, money market dealers, farmers, mechanics, hotel workers, IT professionals, investment bankers, electronics engineers, a satellite programmer and a number of teachers. Occasionally we even get the MD of a large corporation who has given up the corporate dream for a life afloat. Many of these people have “skills sets” that the industry is searching for, but in addition they all have one thing in common…

They all want to change their lives…
Perhaps they have sat in traffic for too long, or they are fed up with getting up in the morning not sure if they want to go in to work but somewhere in it all the light has dawned and they have said …

There must be more to life than this …
Indeed there IS and we can help you find it. We specialise in assisting people in the transfer of their skills from a wide range of other industries and dovetailing them into the needs of ours.

For those of you lucky enough not to need a job…
We also have an increasing number of people ( often husband and wife teams ) who have no intention of working in the industry at all but have bought, or are in the process of buying, their own boat and setting off around the world. They have quite rightly identified that our training can offer them all the knowledge that they need to conduct such a voyage in confidence and safety with the ability to maintain their craft themselves. It’s not always a global voyage that is planned. Some people book our training to improve their coastal cruising, some book just because it is “something they have always wanted to do” and others book for the Palm Trees in the Caribbean or for the fun they know they will have on the course.

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