Last month we spotlighted the brand new online superyacht careers guidance platform, Academy by Ephemeris, which is already serving to majorly streamline and simplify superyacht careers throughout the industry.
Here, we speak to Claire Barnard, Customer Liaison Officer at Academy by Ephemeris, to dig deeper and discover more about the numerous benefits for crew in using the platform – from significant time saving, to 24/7 accessibility and many more – learning lessons about the sometimes thorny world of crew careers along the way.
Spoiler alert: you don’t actually have to ‘know someone’ to succeed in the superyacht industry.
24/7 access for busy crew
You would struggle to name a more international industry than the superyacht industry. With vessels constantly crossing time zones and continents, it’s no surprise that when crew finally find some time to focus on their career development as well as keeping their current certification up to date, by booking onto courses and training schemes, this can often land on times when training providers are not open. How can this be resolved? Academy by Ephemeris has a way: 24/7 access to booking courses online.
“Speaking to our prospective students, it has quickly become apparent that one of the major sources of value for them in using our platform is that they are able to get courses booked in at any time of day, wherever they are in the world,” says Claire.
“One of the most important functionalities of our product is that crew can drop a pin in the port, whichever location they are currently in, or are going to be in, and it will bring up all the training providers nearby that are linked to a particular course, which can then be booked in a matter of minutes. They don’t need to spend time talking to different institutions to discover how to train for a particular career path, which is a major benefit for time-poor crew. Depending on how much time they have available, our students benefit from our flexible learning offering which encompasses e-learning courses, in-person courses, live sessions, books, tools and a wide range of other learning materials.”
Top-level vetting and checking
Speaking to current and prospective customers for the platform, thanks to the rapid proliferation of online courses in recent years, one of the most daunting aspects of attempting to upskill or train towards a specific career goal is the sheer number of courses in existence, combined with a lack of clear guidance about which ones will really help them to achieve their goals.
Although Academy by Ephemeris rightly prides itself on being the most comprehensive careers guidance platform in the business, this doesn’t mean that it will list just any course which comes knocking on the door.
“The world of training courses can be a very overwhelming place, and we want to help our customers to navigate this as smoothly as possible,” explains Claire. “As a result, we have really put in the hours ourselves, speaking to the world’s best schools, and doing all of the necessary vetting on behalf of our students.”
She continues: “We can therefore say to our customers: ‘Look, these programmes have all been vetted by our experts; these have all been accredited, or else we wouldn’t be listing them on our platform.’ We do the due diligence for them in advance, so they can be reassured that it isn’t some money-making scheme, or mom-and-pop shop which they are signing up for, but an accredited course which will enable them to climb the ranks of their chosen career within the industry.”
A safe and secure platform
After clocking up however many hours to pay for their courses – many of which would certainly be classed as ‘anti-social’ or ‘overtime’ in more conventional careers – the last thing crew want to be thinking about is the security of their online payment. However, the existence of numerous online scammers means that this is, unfortunately, something which must be factored in. Thankfully, Academy by Ephemeris has worked hard to ensure that this no longer needs to be a headache for its customers.
Claire offers more detail. “Paying for anything online opens you up to a world of potential trouble and security issues, and we are keen to ensure that this is never a worry for our prospective students: they have enough to juggle as it is!”
“We use Stripe as our trusted gateway for payment for both the online courses we offer, and all of the additional extras available to students – books, tools, learning resources and so on – meaning that customers can be assured that everything is above board, monitored, and perfectly secure when they are booking onto any course through our platform. This is also true for the training providers who make the most of our ‘paid listings’ option: they know that the students’ payments will reach them safely and securely when they are booked through our platform.”
She continues: “We are also always willing to help the students and training providers to work together and to resolve any issues which might arise. This was one of the main reasons we set up Academy by Ephemeris to begin with: we make their lives easier by connecting them more efficiently, showcasing the fantastic courses out there for the talented crew members who are keen to take them on!”
Climbing the careers ladder
Finally, since the platform’s inception, the team at Academy by Ephemeris have spent a huge amount of time fine-tuning its layout, ensuring that its careers guidance is offered in the most helpful and intuitive way possible.
Its unique careers guide is laid out by department (deck, engineering, interior, galley), and is visually represented as a ladder which you climb, making it easy to understand and visualise. In short, crew can see precisely what qualifications, skills and training they will need to progress in their chosen department in order to reach a certain role, and exactly what they will need to do to get there.”
In addition, Academy by Ephemeris also offers tailored recommendations for courses which will enhance careers and help put crew at the top of the CV pile. These are frequently reviewed by the platform team to ensure that they remain current with the industry’s evolution and demands.
Crew can set up their profile entirely free of charge and, based on what they tick as already having been achieved in their career ladder to date, the Academy by Ephemeris system will then suggest what certifications should be achieved next and where these can be accessed, based on where the crew are located in the world. Booking onto these courses can then be done in a matter of minutes.
“With close to 10,000 yachts currently in operation in the industry, it is an incredibly exciting time to enter yachting and to find your dream role,” adds Claire. “We are confident that our platform can help experienced yachties and greenies alike to do precisely this. It is important for us to improve accessibility within yachting: you do not need to ‘know the right people’ in order to climb to the top of the ladder - all you need is a helping hand from a tailored platform like ours.”
Explore Academy by Ephemeris for yourself by visiting the company’s website.