We are not being jingoistic nor even overly patriotic here. Just look at the facts. The Red Ensign has the largest number of flagged superyachts in the world. The MCA is the code beloved by all. Our courts, lawyers and advocates are the people superyacht owners turn to when they want to negotiate contracts. The majority of the largest yacht brokerage and yacht management houses all started off being British.
Look at the crew list and count the number of Brits on board. Chances are they far outnumber the rest and if not by passport, then certainly by the qualifications they hold. It is to Great Britain, that crew turn to when they seek to enhance their career by seeking quality training and qualifications that they can use on yachts around the world.
If Great Britain has got superyacht design well wrapped up, then when it comes to crew, Great Britain really can boast being the best when it comes to training and recruitment. Over the last 30 years, UKSA has become synonymous with yacht crew training and has helped launch the careers of thousands of individuals in the superyacht industry.
An RYA Centre of Excellence and a youth charity, UKSA uses the power of the sea to change the lives of thousands of young people each year. With a vision to widen access to maritime training, enhance life skills and increase employment within the maritime sector, the charity has been instrumental in positively impacting the lives of people of all ages and abilities.
Based on the Isle of Wight, on the South Coast of England, the UKSA is meeting the increasing demand for trained crew in the superyacht industry, with captains, senior officers and entry-level crew. Located in Cowes, it is perfectly situated for its students to explore the Solent, a stretch of water considered to be one of the best in the world to train on thanks to the relatively sheltered waters. Plus, the tides and wide range of conditions provide an excellent environment for both learners and advanced sailors.
The Warsash Superyacht Academy is not far away on the River Hamble and is a pioneering initiative from what was originally, the Warsash School of Navigation. Now under the control of its parent organisation; Solent University, it has branched out into teaching courses in engineering and interior to superyacht crew. For many, it has become the first port of call when seeking STCW, safety and security training.
“I believe there is a growing worldwide demand for higher standards of maritime safety and training as the leading British companies today aim to demonstrate stringent governance standards. Like the rest of the wider global industry, here at the Maritime Skills Academy, we seek to save more lives and reduce accident rates by delivering a new level of marine, fire safety and simulator training to superyacht crews. Located in Dover we are perfectly placed to meet these opportunities,” says Mark Jaenicke, Director of Training and Performance at the Viking Maritime Group.
Dieter Jaenicke, Mark’s father and Chairman of the same group says, “The UK is pre-eminent for high quality crew across the maritime sector including within superyachting. Low cost airfares mean that our MCA accredited training is easily reached right across Europe and is an important part of Superyacht UK.”
The Maritime Skills Academy is just one part of the Viking Maritime Group (formerly Viking Recruitment) which consists of Viking Crew, Chiltern Maritime and the Maritime Skills Academy. It was started as Viking Recruitment in 1988 by Dieter Jaenicke, an industry veteran who now has over 50 years of experience in the marine scene.
Dieter first went to sea with the British Merchant Navy as a deck apprentice in 1967, sailing as Chief Officer in 1975.
He came ashore in 1976 and has worked in marine recruitment, human resources and training ever since. With his firm’s head office in Dover, along with the MSA safety and simulator training centres in Dover and Portsmouth as well as offices in Guernsey, Dieter and his family, who all work in the same business, have expanded the Great British recruitment concept to their offices in Fort Lauderdale, Auckland and Manila.
Many in the industry will know him for other valuable contribution to the industry itself, with his involvement in many initiatives to improve maritime awareness in careers, training and welfare. He is well placed in this, sitting as he does, on various committees and steering groups such as the UK Chamber of Shipping, Merchant Navy Training Board, Superyacht UK (Part of British Marine) and past President of the International Superyacht Society. Dieter Jaenicke says, “As Viking Maritime Group Chairman, my role has changed from running the company on a day-to-day basis into acting as an ambassador for our three businesses.”