High Peak student sets sail for a professional career on the sea

Derbyshire's Lewis Coppinger has graduated from Phase One of UKSA's Professional Yacht Cadetship.
Derbyshire's Lewis Coppinger has graduated from Phase One of UKSA's Professional Yacht Cadetship.
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A High Peak student has swapped the more traditional career path of university for a life on the sea and set sail on a dream career working as an officer on-board luxury superyachts.

Lewis Coppinger, 21, from Buxworth, has embarked on a Professional Yacht Cadetship (PYC) at leading maritime training provider and youth charity UKSA, on the Isle of Wight.

Lewis Coppinger surrounded by his family at UKSA's graduation ceremony.

Lewis Coppinger surrounded by his family at UKSA's graduation ceremony.

The 21-year-old began his training in October and has just graduated from the first phase of the course. During a graduation ceremony, Lewis was presented with the Outstanding Achievement Award and the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award.

The PYC combines study sessions and sea phase training to prepare cadets for a life as a deckhand, while training for a long-term career on superyachts. While working in the industry, students can typically earn €2,000 a month tax free excluding tips.

If sensible, students can graduate debt free and sail into a professional career.

Lewis said: “When I first saw the PYC online, I thought it was too good to be true, so I wrote it off and applied to university. However, the university I applied to actually recommended I apply for the PYC instead, so I did!

“During phase one I’ve enjoyed meeting loads of new people and the highlight has been gaining my yachtmaster qualification.”

The cadets will be starting employment as entry-level deckhands on board 24-metre-plus yachts as they embark on phase two of the course. Phases three and five are spent training at UKSA, with more time spent in the industry during phase four.

UKSA’s Cadetship Manager, Emma Baggett, added: “We currently have 158 cadets out in the industry and it is our global relationships with crew agents and captains themselves that make the cadetship so successful. This alongside full mentoring support, which carries on throughout their careers, is unique to UKSA.”

The application and selection process is underway for the October 2017 intake. Visit www.uksa.org for details.