Dream training course working on luxury yachts

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A Bexhill student has been awarded funding to train for a career working on luxury yachts.

Toby MacDonald, 19, a former Bexhill College and St Richard’s pupil, is currently on phase one of the revered Superyacht Cadetship at leading maritime training provider and youth charity UKSA on the Isle of Wight.

Toby began his training in October after being selected for a coveted bursary by Seafarers UK and topped up by the Milo Hanlon Bursary.

As a real alternative to university, the course combines study sessions and sea phase training at UKSA, with work as deckhands on superyachts.

The course also includes a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science delivered in conjunction with Falmouth Marine School and validated by the University of Plymouth. While working, students can typically earn €2,000 a month tax free (not including tips), and while once onboard a vessel almost all their living costs are covered by the yacht too. Toby has spent many happy hours sailing with his Uncle Angus Ross Thompson and cites him as inspiration for the direction his career is now taking him in. Angus sailed round the world a few years ago and his tales of life at sea have given Toby a thirst for adventure too.

Toby said: “I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do but my uncle told me about all the things that he had been doing while sailing around the world and it just grabbed me.

“Then he told me about the superyacht industry. I instantly thought, that’s the thing for me, no doubt in my mind. I really needed the funding to be able to do it and I’m really grateful to Seafarers as I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. Now I’m funded there’s a lot of pressure to do well, and the course is full-on, but it’s a good way of preparing for working in a busy industry. My ultimate goal is to work up to be a captain.”

For further information contact UKSA’s career advisors on 01983 203038, or email careers@uksa.org.