From education to employment

Disadvantaged children and young people set sail for bright new futures through UKSA’s long-term aspirational pathways into the maritime industry

UKSA (@uksasailing) has launched a new video which highlights the rich and varied experiences on offer for children and young people at its Cowes campus on the Isle of Wight.

The video aims to inspire and attract donations to enable more children and young people from across the UK, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it, to benefit from their watersports activities programmes and educational initiatives.

These enable them to build confidence, broaden their horizons and develop life skills.

The charity will help a further 45,000 beneficiaries by 2025. 

In the video, Ben Willows, UKSA’s CEO, talks about the charity’s purpose which is to broaden the horizons of young people through water-based adventures and training for maritime careers at sea.

Ben explains:

“Our purpose is supported in two ways.

  1. Firstly, to extend our reach by widening access and increasing the number of children that come on our residential school trips and
  2. secondly, by broadening our maritime career opportunities for students.

“Our Sea.Change Foundation course was born out of a need to bridge these two areas and to provide for young people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to come and stay at UKSA and learn all about the Maritime sector and the fantastic funding, training and employment options that are available.

“We are continually investing in our facilities and offering to ensure the best experiences for every student who walks through the door. We have raised over £4m for our current building project offering state-of-the-art accommodation and facilities which is due for completion in summer 2022 We want to ensure this momentum is continued to make a difference to as many young people as possible.”

The Sea.Change Foundation is an inspirational programme that provides 14–18-year-olds from challenging backgrounds the opportunity to learn about training and careers in the maritime sector through a five-day residential trip over the school holidays.

Ben Willows, CEO of UKSA comments:

“The Social Mobility Commission’s 2019 report ‘An Unequal Playing Field: Extra-Curricular Activities, Soft Skills and Social Mobility’ clearly demonstrates that participation in activities beyond the classroom has great added value in a child’s development. Not having access to or participating in these activities is a significant restraint on social mobility. At UKSA, our programmes offer a positive and enriching experience for young people, not only as positive educational outcomes but also offering the possibility for developing a wider set of skills beyond the qualifications obtained from school. 

He continues:

“So many children and young people were already missing out on life-changing opportunities because schools, local authorities and parents simply couldn’t afford to pay for them, and the pandemic has unfortunately only exacerbated this situation. We are delighted to be able to support around 10,000 beneficiaries a year through our activities, but we know we need to, and can do so much more.

“We want to help and support 45,000 more beneficiaries before 2025 but we need support to do this. Now, more than ever, programmes like the Sea.Change Foundation which help to prepare young people for the maritime workplace are vital. A reduction in education, employment and training opportunities as a result of the pandemic will hit the most disadvantaged young people the hardest.”

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