UKSA welcomed its Patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, to Cowes for an update on the Building Better Futures campaign, which the Princess launched in 2017.
During her visit, Her Royal Highness was shown the developments on site, including the acquisition and renovation of the Cowes Youth Centre, relaunched as their new Training Centre. Developed in response to Covid, these facilities enable UKSA to deliver Live Online Learning to students so they can progress their careers irrespective of travel or social distancing restrictions.
The Princess Royal was also updated on plans to build a new accommodation facility to support students learning whilst staying with them. A decision to proceed is expected later this year, should the final tranche of funding be received.
In addition to the improvements and developments at the site, the charity unveiled new initiatives that will enhance the lives and maritime career opportunities for more young people. With the challenges of the current situation limiting the careers prospects for many young people, there has never been a better time to offer further training opportunities leading to tangible pathways into maritime employment.
The Sea Change Fund is being launched to help ensure the charity can be there for the thousands of children and young people for whom outside and adventure learning can make an extraordinary difference. UKSA aims to remove both financial and social barriers to enable a young person from any background to achieve the best version of themselves and gain life changing experiences, qualifications and employment.
The Sea Change Fund will also support UKSA’s new initiative, The Sea Change Foundation, which they piloted with young people in October, together with The Prince’s Trust. It is a programme that will provide 14 – 18-year-olds the opportunity to visit UKSA for five days over the school holidays. It will enable them to experience a wide range of water-based yachting and watersports activities alongside classroom-based learning to showcase the pathways and careers opportunities in the maritime sector.
UKSA has also gained the accreditation to be added to the register as a recognised Apprenticeship Training provider and has launched its two-year Maritime Foundation course aimed at young people who have no prior experience in watersports or yachting. This course provides the skills, qualifications and knowledge required to start a career within the maritime industry.