In an exciting and industry-first partnership, recruitment agency, Quay Crew, has teamed up with the trailblazing Greig City Academy (GCA) to provide employment opportunities in the superyacht sector to young people from diverse ethnic and economic backgrounds.
The recruiter will fund 100% of the STCW, PBL2 and ENG1 medical for suitable candidates from the sailing school programme to remove the financial barriers to getting the minimum qualifications required to become superyacht crew.
Director, Tim Clarke, will also provide interview coaching and mentoring to the young people whilst actively promoting diversity to superyacht clients.
Founded in 2014, the Greig City Academy sailing programme has created extraordinary opportunities for young people from inner-city Haringey, London.
Over 1,000 students from ethnic minority groups and often disadvantaged backgrounds have been through the programme, achieving sporting excellence whilst also improving academic performance and building skills for life.
Achievements include completing the Fastnet twice, winning their class in the Round the Island Race three times and competing in the Etchells World Championships and Cowes Week.
After hearing about Scaramouche on ITV’s This Morning, where founder and Head of Sixth Form at GCA, Jon Holt, told of how he sold his house at one point to make sure the sailing school initiative could continue to operate, Tim Clarke reached out.
He commented: “Hearing Jon’s story and how he made significant personal and financial sacrifices to get the programme off the ground was inspirational. Listening to the young lads too made me want to help those who wanted to access the opportunities that working onboard superyachts has to offer.
“It was clear that those who have been through the GCA sailing programme have proven they are motivated, committed and capable – all excellent traits of solid superyacht crew. But due to their backgrounds and financial situation, it was impossible for them to break into the superyacht industry, so we thought we could help change that.
“We all know that there’s a severe lack of diversity in the superyacht sector and this is now being noticed by many owners and management companies who are keen to bring crew from a wide range of backgrounds onboard.
“With Quay Crew funding these minimum qualifications, these students can now start to promote themselves as valuable crew candidates.”
Despite being in its infancy, the partnership between the sailing programme and Quay Crew has already resulted in the placement of a candidate in a Deckhand position onboard a 60m+ world cruising yacht.
The philanthropic owners were actively wanting to see more diversity among crew and have also expressed an interest in supporting the initiative with charitable donations.
Quay Crew has funded the STCW, PBL2 and ENG1 medical with Flying Fish training school in Cowes, Isle of Wight, who has also provided the accommodation for the course free of charge.
Andy Hunt, Managing Director, said: “It’s always great to see aspiring yachties take the first step into their yachting career, but this is extra special because many of the young people will never have thought it possible. We’re delighted to be supporting Scaramouche Sailing Trust and Greig City Academy and look forward to supporting more crew get onboard.”
The sailing programme currently costs around £200,000 a year to run. They have set up a charity, the Scaramouche Sailing Trust, to raise these funds with ambitions to involve other inner-city schools. They are currently still working to bring in the money needed to run the programme in 2023.
As part of the partnership, Quay Crew is also assisting with fundraising in the form of referrals and presentations to Captains and yacht owners who are enthusiastic about getting involved. One hundred percent of any recruitment fees generated from the placement of crew from GCA will be donated directly back to the Scaramouche Sailing Trust.
Founder of the GCA sailing programme, Jon Holt, said: “I’m thrilled that Quay Crew are supporting us by opening up a new career path for our students. Whilst we are great at helping students thrive and excel at sailing, we also want to also be able to offer tangible opportunities in the wider sector and many of our students would be well suited to the superyacht sector.
“This partnership is helping to educate our students about yet more career options available to them that they may have never otherwise heard of and give them access to the vital training and qualifications needed to get onboard.”
For more information about the sailing programme, visit https://scaramouchesailing.org.uk/support-our-2023-sailing/