More women taking Superyacht Cadetship course

UKSA has reported a 150 per cent increase in the number of women undertaking its Superyacht Cadetship from 2020 to 2021 in a trend that sees a positive shift towards increased diversity in the superyacht sector. 

The Isle of Wight based charity, which provides life-enhancing water-based adventures, education, and world-leading maritime training, saw an increase in the number of women from six per cent to 15 per cent from 2020-21 and a 26 percent increase in students taking up the course overall.

Available to those aged 18 – 25, and now accepting applicants for its September 2022 intake, the structured four-year programme is designed to train the future officer of the superyacht industry and was created with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency. It equips graduates with a strong foundation of knowledge, alongside offering a realistic understanding of what it takes to succeed in a career in the superyacht industry.

James Potipher, cadetship manager at UKSA said: “This course is a fantastic alternative to university and uniquely, students earn while they learn so they can pay off their course fees whilst they are working and training in the industry. We are really pleased to see a positive shift in the percentage of women taking up the course and paving the way for a better diversity mix in the years ahead. We still have a way to go, but this is a great indicator of changing times. Not only is the course all inclusive of food and accommodation during the training phases, there are also grants and funding available to make the course available to as many young people as possible.”

Cadets also have the opportunity to undertake a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science during phase one and three of the Superyacht Cadetship, which is awarded by the University of Plymouth. The option gives additional careers and training pathways into different sectors in the maritime industry.

In 2021, UKSA signed the She of the Sea Pledge, a commitment to work together to build a diverse and inclusive yachting industry.

Jenny Matthews, She of the Sea founder, said: “Seeing such a dramatic increase in female representation in such a short time indicates the changing tide when it comes to industry stereotypes and traditionally male dominated departments onboard. Providing passionate, career focused individuals of all genders a clear, supportive path forward will be instrumental in creating a robust, diverse and inclusive talent pipeline, and attracting the next generation of yachting professionals. The work UKSA is doing through this cadetship is creating a ripple effect we are excited to see shape our collective future!”

The course comprises five phases; phase one will see cadets developing skills and knowledge of seamanship and safety as well as industry qualifications. Phase two sees students employed on a superyacht as an entry-level deckhand and phase three progresses cadets from a junior deckhand to more senior positions onboard such as lead deckhand or bosun by building on their working experience. Phase four gives the cadets watch keeping experience in a paid employment role which will see them practically applying and honing the techniques and practices learned. The final stage is the Officer of the Watch 3000gt training with cadets studying senior modules towards a final examination.

As a charity, UKSA has funding opportunities available for students who would otherwise struggle and can help with assisted funding towards the Superyacht Cadetship programme.

For more information on UKSA and its maritime training for a career at sea, please visit

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