A small cohort of 18 to 24 year old NEETS (not in education, employment or training) joined a 26 week training programme at UKSA in Cowes. They were funded by the Future Jobs Fund.
Initial findings from a feedback study conducted after the Apprentices had completed their six months of studies revealed:
• An 87 per cent improvement in their self esteem
• A 68 per cent improvement in motivation
• A 56 per cent improvement in confidence and happiness
• 100 per cent gained qualifications
• 71 per cent of them are now in employment
The UKSA Apprentices were asked a series of questions about the benefits and skills they had gained whilst training at UKSA.
Before their arrival, participants said they felt demotivated due to unemployment and lack of opportunity, resulting in poor lifestyles and lethargy. Several said that they had faced considerable adversity including financial, drug and alcohol issues, had dropped out of full time education and were claiming benefits.
Participants said that they had progressed at UKSA by being given the opportunity to turn their lives around in a friendly and supportive environment. The study regime had given them a renewed sense of purpose, along with the realisation that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve.
Commenting on the results of the scheme, Simon Davies, Director of Youth Development said: “We’d be the first to admit that this is a small sample. Fifteen participants took part in scheme. But we compared these initial results with a second cohort of Apprentices who completed their training last month and the outcomes are pretty much the same.”
During the course of the programme, Apprentices studied for RYA accredited qualifications in powerboat L2, Safety Boat, First Aid, Dinghy instructor and BCU L1 Coach. They also worked on yacht maintenance, learnt CV preparation and interview techniques, life and work skills, and got experience of working environments. They received 1 to 1 mentoring and careers advice to improve their chances of employment.
Plans to continue the Apprenticeship scheme have been put on hold until alternative funding is found after the Future Jobs Fund was scrapped. UKSA is seeking funding for a further 24 Apprentices in 2011.
Each Apprentice costs UKSA £7,000 to train. This sum includes £95 a week in wages.
UKSA recently featured in Jamie Oliver’s TV series, Jamie’s Dream School (Channel 4, Wednesdays, 9pm). The programme saw Dame Ellen MacArthur set sail from UKSA with four 18 years olds for a four day ocean adventure to build their team and communications skills.
One of the Dream School students, Henry Gatehouse, (17), from London, is shortly returning to UKSA to train for the Watersports internship programme.
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UKSA has worked to provide life changing outcomes for young people for almost 25 years. In that time, the charity has helped more than 100,000 individuals challenge personal boundaries, develop personal and employment skills and embark on fulfilling maritime careers.
This has been achieved by harnessing high quality maritime education, mentoring and support and making it available to all regardless of their background and ability.
An increasing number of young people are choosing the maritime sector as a career choice over and above University or other employment sectors. They are inspired by the rewards of a career with global opportunities.
UKSA trains 800 people each year for maritime employment, and works with a diverse range of employers, from the superyacht owner Roman Abramovich to the Nielson Holidays and PGL activity holidays to help them into employment.
UKSA was founded by the retail entrepreneur Noel Lister. The charity celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2012.
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As a youth maritime charity, UKSA uses maritime education and on-the-water activities to inspire individuals and transform lives. Personal development, improved self esteem, broadened horizons and fulfilling maritime careers are just some of the outcomes.