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Edmiston and UKSA Team up on Diversity Initiative

2020-10-15By Miranda Blazeby

Superyacht brokerage house Edmiston has teamed up with maritime training organisation UKSA to increase the diversity of the superyacht industry.

This partnership has culminated in the launch of the Edmiston Foundation, which will target young people from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds and give them the opportunity to pursue a career in the maritime industry.

The Foundation will fully fund training and education opportunities developed and run by UKSA from the organisation’s base in Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

The training initiative will kick off this autumn, with the first batch of 14 – 18-year-old students attending the newly developed five-day Sea Change Foundation course.

These five-day courses will take place throughout school holidays and introduce participants to careers and opportunities in the maritime industry.

“We’ll get young people and schools from diverse backgrounds or areas of high deprivation down to UKSA in Cowes, get them out on the water and really light a candle of excitement in them on what maritime careers have to offer,” explained UKSA chief executive Ben Willows.

The course will signpost students onto the newly developed five-week Edmiston Superyacht Crew training programme, the first of which will begin in spring 2021. Modules will include industry familiarisation, cultural integration and career development, alongside the standard crew training course.

Students applying to join the fully funded programme will be required to prepare a short presentation on why they deserve the opportunity and pitch it to a panel of Edmiston and UKSA representatives.

Following the five-week course, UKSA and Edmiston will help students secure employment in the superyacht industry.

Willows said the initiative was motivated to raise awareness of the opportunities out there for young people from all walks of life.

“The superyacht industry has amazing careers and opportunities that young people just don’t know about – to be paid to travel and see things that most people dream about,” he said.

He revealed initial discussions to establish the Foundation began almost two years ago and began to take shape at last year’s Monaco Yacht Show.

The ambition is to train up 250 young people a year and run the Edmiston Foundation training programme for at least five years, resulting in 1,200 young people completing the courses.

Chief executive of Edmiston & Company, Jamie Edmiston, said: “It is my hope that this new initiative will deliver opportunities to young people from all walks of life, ultimately leading to a fulfilling career at sea or within the maritime industry.

“This is the first small step, and I hope that in due course we can widen this initiative and help young people forge careers in the wider yachting industry – as designers, engineers, yacht brokers or senior officers on board yachts.”

Willows added: “This exciting collaboration with Edmiston means together we can deliver a significant impact in providing these opportunities to deserving young people whilst driving a meaningful cultural change to improve diversity in the maritime sector.”