Ask the expert – The importance of maritime training courses on career prospects

Feb 24, 2023

Following our partnership with Shoreside Superyacht Recruitment (SYR), who specialise in shoreside recruitment, we asked recruiter Simon Foulkes a series of questions to understand more about the impact that studying one of our diplomas can have on your maritime career…

How do companies within the industry value training and qualifications on CV’s when it comes to professionals applying for roles?

Hugely; in such a regulated industry its vital that a candidate can show relevant qualifications specific to their particular field. Even in non-technical/compliance roles such as sales and charter, there is a real need to understand varying contractual agreements, law and differing transaction types so formal training in these areas is hugely advantageous for any candidate. Personally I’m an advocate of continued training and development in all stages of a career, from role specific learning to soft skill development and a CV which reflects ongoing L&D reflects so well on a candidate.

Do maritime companies specifically ask for qualifications when they are recruiting new roles?

This varies depending on the type of role; in some cases its a prerequisite, in others its a ‘nice to have’, but always be looking for opportunities to expand your skillset or knowledge in your chosen field. It always pays off in the job market and can be a real differentiator on a candidate shortlist.

How can an MTA Diploma help an applicant stand out from others, when applying for a new role within the industry?

In a number of ways; aside from the learning itself, obtaining a diploma demonstrates commitment and ambition. I take numerous calls every month from candidates outside the industry trying to get in, and when I ask them what they’ve been doing to break into yachting I’m often met with silence. That isn’t a criticism by any means as there can be reasons to explain the inactivity, but when somebody tells me they’ve taken a training course, passed it an obtained a qualification or diploma then I’m motivated to help them. I appreciate the commitment they’ve made, admire their gumption and it shows me that they are serious about a career in yachting. This is reflected on the client side also; I know my contacts all feel the same.

What advice would a recruiter give to someone looking to get into the industry for the first time?

Yachting can be a tough industry to break into with no previous experience on the CV. There are reasons for this, some bona fide and others less so, but my three recommendations would be to learn, to network and to be realistic As mentioned above, I’m always impressed by a candidate who has invested in themselves and this also resonates with my clients, so if you have obtained a qualification or diploma this gives every stakeholder something to work with in the absence of experience. Networking is crucial, and I would suggest starting with a good recruitment agent who can guide you through the industry landscape, support you and position you correctly to their clients. Finally, realism is important. Getting your foot in the door will probably mean taking a more junior, or in some cases entry level role and a candidate will need to be prepared for this and its ramifications, especially if moving across from an industry in which they are established.

What is the state of the superyacht recruitment market at present, are there many jobs on offer?

The market is as buoyant as ever with plenty of opportunity in a diverse range of sectors. However the industry, like many others, is facing a severe shortage in skills and talent. Therefore I’m hugely excited about the partnership between MTA and SYR as I believe this presents a real opportunity to tackle the candidate shortage. By working together, we can train and upskill good talent and help get it into the yachting industry.

What job roles in particular need to be filled?

Production and manufacture want skilled trades, design needs architects and designers, management companies need operational skills, brands and dealers need sales people, brokerage houses need new sales and charter talent, and back offices need finance, compliance and administration skills. There’s always something!

What are prospective employers looking for in a candidate these days?

The right attitude, flexibility, commitment and a great work ethic. Some things never change, and these old adages are as important now as they ever were.

So what are you waiting for? Find a maritime diploma that’s right for you today!