UKSA is reporting its Further Education student intake for September 2023 is its highest on record, increasing 20 per cent on 2022 figures, with 71 per cent from those living on the Isle of Wight.

The world’s largest RYA centre and UK maritime charity has 56 students enrolled on its Maritime Foundation course alongside 28 students undertaking its Adventurous Outdoor Activities course. The total of 84 is the highest UKSA has seen since records began in 2010. UKSA is also reporting that over 46 per cent of this year’s intake are women, an increase of 32 per cent on 2022 figures.

Clare Powell, Education Manager at UKSA said: “We are seeing increases in our FE courses year on year with nearly three quarters local to us on the Isle of Wight. The maritime industry is on their doorstep and these courses are specifically designed to enable young people to enter the sector and have the opportunity to see the vast career options available to them. Our programmes offer future employment opportunities across a wide range of different avenues from maritime, watersports, paid apprenticeships all the way through to working on superyachts. By choosing to start on an FE course with us, there are so many options for them further down the line.

“The increase by a third in the amount of young women on our FE courses this year is incredible and demonstrates our work to promote the increase of women within the maritime sector is having an effect.”

The Maritime Foundation NCFE (Level 3 Introductory Certificate) two-year course is for school leavers and provides the perfect basis to enter the maritime industry. Although aimed at those who have no prior experience in watersports or yachting, students will leave the course with essential skills, qualifications and knowledge to get onto the career ladder of the maritime industry. Following the course, students will have the experience and qualifications to apply for an array of jobs within the industry including watersports instructor, mate (flotilla or tugs), deck officer (merchant navy) or deckhand (superyachts/workboats).

“Not only does the Maritime Foundation course set students up for a wide range of job opportunities, it’s also a popular entry point for students without pass grades at GCSE English and Maths to go on to do further training in the yachting and watersports industry including UKSA’s apprenticeship pathways. For students who are looking to escape the classroom and gain valuable work experience, it’s a great choice.” said Clare.

The Adventurous Outdoor Activities Programme (NCFE Level 3 Diploma) two-year course which requires a pass at GCSE English and Maths provides students with in-depth knowledge of the sports and outdoors industries along with the opportunity to enter the wider Maritime Sector including UKSA’s flagship Superyacht Cadetship. Students participate in leading sessions as an instructor whilst working towards qualifications that will help them gain employment on completion of the programme. The course is a great choice for those wanting to go onto higher education, instructing or the Maritime industry.

“The career options are endless with the Adventurous Outdoor Activities Diploma as students get the chance to learn about anatomy and physiology as well as the effects of nutrition teamed with the principles and practices of the industry. There’s a lot of fun to be had as students gain their RYA Powerboat Level 2 Licence, dinghy instructing, and safety and rescue training as well as first aid,” concluded Clare.