One year after its launch at the Monaco Yacht Show, Warsash Superyacht Academy (WSA) has announced a programme of international expansion and development to meet growing demand for premium quality maritime training.
The Academy, a unique collaboration between Warsash Maritime Academy (WMA), Southampton Solent University and adistinctivegroupofestablishedandhigh‐qualityservice providers, has seen a significant increase in student numbers since its launch at Monaco last year.
Fuelling that growth is a rise in the size and number of superyachts above 3,000GT, and passenger coding for more than 12 guests. This in turn is stimulating demand from superyacht captains and senior officers who are seeking to achieve unlimited certification as Officer of the Watch (OOW) to progress their prospects and careers.
Andrew Hair, Director of WMA, said: “Since its launch, WSA has successfully communicated a clear pathway to the yacht sector on how to achieve the necessary level of training, qualification and professionalism. This has led to a period of solid growth and a significant uptake in both our yacht 3,000GT certifications and our officer of the watch unlimited course provision, which is specifically tailored for the superyacht sector.
“To ensure we continue to meet and exceed industry expectations, we have put into place a development plan which builds on our core delivery capability, scales our operation and opens up new routes to market outside of the UK. This includes imminent expansion of our activities to Barcelona within one of the world’s most prestigious shipyards.”
A new association with The Nautical Academy in Marina Barcelona 92 facilitates the delivery of WSA’s world-class maritime training to yacht officers and crews outside of the UK for the first time.
WSA’s courses at The Nautical Academy will include yacht deck certification for officers of the watch and Masters, yacht engineering certification courses, a range of HELM, ISM and ISPS courses and other mandatory programmes.
The Spanish training hub includes WSA’s training partners, MedAire, for the provision of essential medical courses and Interior Yacht Services for interior hospitality courses. Training will be delivered in brand new, purpose built facilities adjacent to the yacht marina in Barcelona. www.thenauticalacademy.net
Andrew Hair said: "High expectations within the luxury yacht sector drives demand from owners, managers, captains, officers and crews for premium quality maritime training and commercial services from the most reputable providers.
“To meet these unique industry demands, Warsash Superyacht Academy has always aimed to set superior standards in education and training, which is why we see the partnership with The Nautical Academy in Marina Barcelona 92 as a perfect strategic fit. This is a significant development for Warsash Superyacht Academy and Southampton Solent University, facilitating the delivery of our world-class maritime training to yacht officers and crews outside of the UK for the first time. We look forward to working closely with our partners in this unique and superbly located venture.”
In line with its reputation as an industry pioneer, WSA also becomes the first superyacht teaching institution to develop a mobile learning platform, enabling superyacht crews who are enrolled on WSA commercial yacht deck and engineering courses to access course notes and teaching aids remotely.
Developed in association with CM Group, a new app has been designed to work with mobile devices and iPads and is free to download from the Apple iTunes store.
“The ability for students to constantly receive updated course material from us is invaluable, and the WSA app eliminates the need for students to carry course material with them whilst they are travelling and working globally. It gives our students immediate access to the necessary study aids, wherever their location,” said WSA Business Development Manager Lars Lippuner.
“We are committed to providing teaching environments and a student learning experience that exceeds expectations. The WSA app is a logical step forward in the delivery of training to a sector that is itself ahead of the curve when it comes to the adoption of new and emerging technology and communications channels.”
The enriched app provides free career progression charts, with direct links to courses required and an extensive information resource centre for superyacht crews. Delivering on its commitment to improve the customer experience, WSA has also introduced online booking across all of its commercial yacht courses, and organised competitive executive airport transport for candidates travelling to the UK campus via London airports. Following an investment of £600k, work has also taken place over the summer to fully upgrade lecture rooms, study facilities and the GMDSS Communication Centre ahead of the new academic year.
Other significant performance milestones that have been met by the WSA during the past 12 months include:
· A 30% increase in students taking professional commercial yacht deck qualifications, and achieving a 98% first time pass rate for Master (Yachts).
· WSA became the first MCA-approved training provider to deliver the Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM) at Operational Level course in July 2012. Introduced under STCW Manila Amendments, this course has seen a significant demand from superyacht crew (70%), resulting in extra course scheduling. Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM) at Management Level courses started running in August 2013 and demand is already high.
· A significant addition to the quality of training facilities with the launch of a state-of-the-art Full Mission Engine Room Simulator at WSA’s base in Hampshire, UK. With an investment of £1m, this highly specialist training area provides engineering officers with an environment in which to develop their technical engineering skills and their non-technical human element, leadership and management skills. It is designed for team-based resource management training and can be linked to WSA’s Bridge Simulator to provide a total ship simulation training environment. The first of its kind in the world, it integrates simulator technology with real vessel control and electrical systems. It includes a suite of rooms including an Engine Control Room, emergency switchboard room, HV (11KVA) room containing an HV breaker and control panel and an instructor station.
Where to find WSA at the Monaco Yacht Show:
- In the SYUK Pavilion at Darse Sud QS102, Monaco Yacht Show
- Captains Hideout - Location link: http://captainshideout.com/monaco-map/