For time-strapped crew working the typically full-on hours of the superyacht industry, amassing the training, qualifications and experience to build a long-term career can be a daunting prospect. If you are in the Bahamas one week, Indonesia the next, and spending most of your time scrubbing the decks while you are there, when exactly are you supposed to find the time to progress your career?
Similarly, for those totally green to the industry, the vast amount of online information about how to enter yachting in the first place can be overwhelming. Add to that the huge number of training courses available around the globe and it’s no wonder that so many newbies are left confused and feeling that you have to ‘know someone’ to get a foot in the door.
Step in: Academy by Ephemeris, a unique superyacht career guidance platform designed to simplify the process by mapping out career pathways and helping crew to identify the training they require to progress at every stage.
Such a platform has been a long time coming and, as product development manager Alan Pio explains, the potential benefits to the broader industry are far-reaching.
What makes Academy by Ephemeris unique among other career guidance platforms?
There are many platforms out there which provide a whole range of courses for seafarers from vessels of all shapes, types and sizes. This is a niche product for superyachts tailored to their specific needs. We are yachties by background and remain deeply connected to the industry, so we really do know what crew need to help progress in their careers.
Talk me through how your crew career pathways work.
Another key difference in what we offer is the way our platform is laid out. Rather than just listing all of the various training providers, we outline specific career pathways for each role within each department. Say, for example, you want to go from being an officer of the watch to eventually become a ship’s captain, you can follow the detailed pathway which explains exactly, step by step, which qualifications and training you will need to complete in order to advance your career.
For each step, you can find the certification you need and the training provider(s) in your area based on your mutual geographical position, alongside how many hours you need to complete and what the required skills are. Then you can book onto these courses, there and then.
No matter what type or size of yacht you are on, or which department you want to focus your career on, our career guide presents an easy-to-understand ladder for you to climb. You don’t need to think about what to do next, because we have already done the thinking for you.
This sounds great, so how much do crew have to pay to access Academy by Ephemeris?
The answer is: absolutely nothing! The use of the platform is completely free and is accessible to users 24/7. This is so important for crew, as it means they are able to be connected to training providers and book onto the courses they need, whatever time it is and wherever they are in the world. Crew can set up a free profile and, based on what they tick as their previous achievements, our system suggests which certifications to achieve next and who is hosting the class, where and when, throughout the world.
How does Academy by Ephemeris work for crew training providers?
A huge differentiator between Academy by Ephemeris and other platforms on the market is that we vet all of the prospective course providers to ensure that they meet our rigorous standards – we have all heard of qualifications out there which are not worth the paper on which they are written!
As a training provider, if you choose our free listings option, you can list unlimited courses completely free of charge and receive enquiries directly from students. Alternatively, you can take advantage of our popular paid listings option, where a student can select your courses and pay you directly on our platform. The paid course listings use our trusted and convenient payment gateway, sending the funds immediately to you.
With our paid listings option, you also benefit from the tailored marketing support and promotion which we offer, ensuring that you reach the widest possible audience and connect with potential students all around the world. This is a significant benefit for our clients, especially for those smaller training providers who may not have a vast reach on their own.
What are the benefits for management companies and agents?
Both management companies and agents can massively benefit from directing interested candidates towards our platform. When they are faced with crew who lack the necessary skills and qualifications for a position which they have applied for, they can say to them: “You’re not quite there yet, but go to Academy by Ephemeris, see what you need to do, complete the training and then get back to me.”
This is not only a fantastic way to see how serious the candidate actually is about a position, but also saves them a considerable amount of time, as they don’t have to explain all the steps someone needs to take in order to get from A to Z; it’s all there on our platform for them to see.
What impact are you hoping to see on the crew career landscape over time?
We are hoping that Academy by Ephemeris will help to professionalise crew training – it represents our investment into the development of the superyacht industry in general. The aim is to push out quality crew and make them aware that yachting is not just a gap year option where you come on board, have fun and then leave; you can develop a proper, long-term career in yachting. It will be beneficial for captains and owners too, as they won’t have to endure the constant rotation of new crew members.
We want to take the mystery out of the superyacht industry to some extent. People see these wonderful jobs and have pipe dreams about working on yachts but they don’t always know how to actually get there. The yachting industry is like IKEA – without the proper instructions, you will never get to where you need to go! At Academy by Ephemeris we lay everything out and make it as straightforward and intuitive as we possibly can.
Explore Academy by Ephemeris for yourself by visiting the company’s website.