Young Bermudians develop maritime skills

  • Photograph by Sam Greenfield

    Photograph by Sam Greenfield

  • Photograph by Sam Greenfield

    Photograph by Sam Greenfield

  • Photograph by Sam Greenfield

    Photograph by Sam Greenfield


Bermuda’s rich cultural identity is linked to the Island’s maritime heritage and historically Bermuda has produced incredible mariners, boat builders, and seafarers. Endeavour is thrilled to connect Bermuda’s youth with their heritage by supporting their skills development and training to propel them toward their goal of securing a maritime career through the Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme.

Endeavour Community Sailing, a non-profit dedicated to building self-confidence, teamwork and life skills by engaging youth in experiential learning through sailing has partnered with the Bermuda College Division of Professional and Career Education (PACE) and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Sailing Academy to provide a second-to-none training programme for local youth keen to work in the maritime industry.

Endeavour welcomed ten young Bermudians aged 16 to 31 years to further develop their employability skills and expand their career opportunities, particularly in the maritime industry. Participants represent Bermudian youth ages 16 and older from diverse backgrounds including home school, high school and college students, some self-employed or unemployed but seeking employment. One participant courageously turned down a job offer to participate in the programme as they felt strongly that the experience and qualifications offered by the Endeavour Maritime Careers Springboard Programme would better prepare them to achieve their career goals. Others worked on weeknights and weekends, without compromising their participation as they were committed to completing the programme.

The 7-week programme includes on-water training sessions that are complimented by classroom learning modules based on the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) syllabus. A team of qualified instructors from Endeavour and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Sailing Academy facilitated hands-on training sessions at the Endeavour West Fort and Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, and RYA assessors completed assessments to determine readiness of each participant. Participants achieved internationally-recognised qualifications including: RYA Sailing Level 1-3, RYA Powerboat 1-2, RYA Safety Boat, RYA Seamanship, RYA Marine First Aid, RYA Safe & Fun Safeguarding, RYA Marine SRC VHF Radio, RYA Dinghy Instructor and International Certificate of Competence.

The Endeavour Maritime Careers Springboard Programme aims to enhance employability skills for young Bermudians interested to pursue a maritime career and to increase exposure to many opportunities in the maritime industry. Although participants share a common interest of the maritime industry, their career goals are quite varied and include: marine diesel mechanics, sailing instructor, boat pilot, charter fishing boat, watersports centre, super yacht captain, captain’s license, and Bermuda Coast Guard.

During multiple career days and site visits 16 maritime professionals dedicated their time and support to provide informative presentations that broadened participants’ awareness of the diverse maritime job opportunities whilst expanding their knowledge of the training and education requirements. Presenters explained what their job entails, what skills and training are necessary to perform their role, as well as highlighted different career opportunities in the maritime sector.

Tia Tankard, Endeavour’s Club Development Officer, explains, “We are grateful to the maritime industry professionals who shared their experience of working in the maritime sector and career pathway, and provided invaluable tips for how these young Bermudians can be successful toward achieving their goals.”

“The Endeavour team extends our appreciation to the businesses and presenters who supported this year’s programme: Chris Roque and Mark Goodwin (Spar Yard Marine Solutions / West End Yachts), Ralph Richardson (Author of ‘The Bermuda Boater’, Bermuda Water Safety Council), Angelique Burgess (Concordia Maritime Ltd.), Jay Riihiluoma (Upwind Sports), Rajae Woods (Visionary Sailing Academy), Lauren Yelle-Simmons, Tristan DeSilva, Captain Alex, Ed & Malcolm Kirkland (Spirit of Bermuda), Taran Card (Bermuda Shipping and Maritime Authority), Mario Thompson (Department of Marine & Ports Services), Mark Soares (Bermuda Yacht Services), Ray Lambert (Bermuda Economic Development Corporation), Dr. Mark Guishard (BIOS), and Steve Hollis (Ocean Sails).”

25 year-old Courtney Dublin successfully completed the programme and is interested to gain more time at sea and to become a branch pilot with the Department of Marine & Ports. Courtney explains, “my completion of the programme is another step in the marine industry to get closer to my goals.”

Upon completion of the programme, 16-year-old Kristopher Cameron secured an internship with Spar Yard Marine Solutions, which aligns well with his goal of learning more about boat mechanics. Kristopher states, “I have come to the understanding that the maritime industry is very broad and there are a lot of opportunities for young people. The qualifications that I achieved as a result of participating in the programme give me a head start when applying for jobs in the maritime industry.”

21 year-old Benjamin Furqan shares about his experience in the programme, “I was able to attain qualifications for a job I can possibly work at. My knowledge of the maritime industry has increased a great amount as a result of participating in the programme.”

Two participants, Calshunto James and Donavin Trott-Burchall balanced commitments with the Royal Bermuda Regiment whilst successfully completing the programme. Calshunto highlights, “It was great to see the different types of marine careers there are on the Island during the career day presentations. The programme has provided me with more qualifications to apply for different types of jobs.”

Donavin is interested to work on a SuperYacht. Donavin explains, “I have gained more certifications to start a career in the maritime industry. I had the opportunity to talk to people that worked around the world during the programme. I particularly enjoyed speaking with one that worked on ships and yachts and talked about their experiences.”

Ms. Tankard adds, “As part of the programme, participants visited various maritime organisations across Bermuda to learn more about the different work environments as well as gain insight into the variety of roles that are involved. Huge thanks to Mark Procter and Dominique Simons from the Bermuda Police Service Marine Unit, Michelle Pitcher at the Bermuda Weather Service, Steve Pegg at the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre, and Mark Goodwin at Spar Yard Marine Solutions for facilitating interactive presentations about your roles and organisations that have inspired participants to continue toward achieving their goals.”

Ms. Tankard states, “it’s amazing that after just 6 weeks of training, 70% of the participants passed their Royal Yachting Association Dinghy Instructor qualification which is impressive given that 70% of the cohort had limited to no sailing experience before the programme.”

Tristan Loescher, Endeavour Programme Coordinator explains, “We’re thrilled about the progress that each participant has made. They dedicated a high level of commitment throughout the programme. It was wonderful to see the bonds form between participants as they didn’t know each other on the first day, but they increased their trust with each other as they enhanced their ability to work as a team and relied on each others’ strengths to support each other along the way. They have worked hard toward their goals and we’re excited to see what is next for them. They have emerged from the programme with a new set of skills and qualifications, along with a new group of supporters.”

Jennifer Pitcher, Endeavour’s Community Engagement, Development & Partnerships Manager, states, “ A big element that contributed to the programme’s success was smaller based training sessions and mentor relationships. After the pilot we recognised the need for additional support customised to each participants’ development areas. Some participants have sailing experience but require additional support for classroom-based theory lessons and others have little to no sailing experience and require extra training on the water. Endeavour is grateful to YouthNet’s Executive Director Clare Mello for facilitating a training with Endeavour team members on the best practices of successful mentoring. Each participant was paired with an Endeavour instructor as a mentor who they worked with closely throughout the programme, providing customized support and identifying development areas to focus training efforts.”

The programme also featured a resume writing workshop, as well as career planning and goal setting sessions to guide participants as they prepare for success. In addition to the qualifications and experience that participants achieved they enhanced their teamwork, communication, and presentation skills.

Tom Harcombe, Endeavour Programme Manager comments, “It’s amazing to see the transformation that participants made during the programme. For many they started with little to no sailing experience and now they are fully qualified RYA Dinghy Instructors with the skills and knowledge to teach others the fundamentals of sailing aligning with RYA standards. They should be proud of how far they have come which is a direct result of how much effort they invested throughout the programme. We wish them all the best with their next steps and look forward to seeing what they will achieve in the future!”

Karen Smith, Bermuda College PACE Programme Coordinator explains, “Bermuda College is very excited about partnering again with Endeavour Community Sailing. Bermuda is the perfect training ground for such a programme. It establishes a firm foundation for a promising career in the maritime industry both locally and internationally.”

Mrs. Pitcher adds, “We’re grateful to Endeavour’s supporters who have helped ensure the success of the Endeavour Maritime Careers Springboard Programme. Endeavour’s partnership with the Bermuda College PACE Division allows some of the classroom based sessions to take place at the Bermuda College and ensures a seamless registration process that enables participants to become Bermuda College students with access to Bermuda College amenities. We’re grateful for the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for hosting some of the training during the programme as well as assisting with the facilitation of the Royal Yachting Association assessments. Special thanks to Karen Smith, Bermuda College PACE Coordinator and Nathan Bailey, RBYC Sailing Director for their dedication toward the programme’s success. The Bermuda Sailing Association sponsored partial costs of the RYA Dinghy Instructor course that helped minimise programme costs. We’re especially grateful to lead sponsor, Orbis Investments, for supporting Endeavour to continue delivering measurable impact in our community with education through sailing.”

“On March 22 the participants’ achievements were recognised during a Commencement Ceremony. Endeavour is honoured to have had the Honourable Minister Diallo Rabain, JP, MP present certificates to each participant joined by Endeavour Director Dr. Melvyn Bassett. Distinguished guests enjoyed the special occasion, which was generously sponsored by Gosling’s and Bonefish catering. Endeavour wishes to thank Bermuda Glassworks for the beautiful pink glass Bermuda sloops presented by Erin Williams from Orbis Investments and Ralph Richardson who presented each participant with a signed copy of his book, The Bermuda Boater.”

“We commend each participant for their tireless efforts and commitment. We are thrilled to congratulate them on their achievements! We look forward to welcoming the next cohort of participants to commence in January 2020 for which applications will be accepted in the fall. We’re excited to see what is next for our 2018 and 2019 cohort. Visit www.endeavour.bm for more information.”

Press release from Endeavour Community Sailing

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Published Apr 12, 2019 at 3:25 pm (Updated Apr 12, 2019 at 3:25 pm)

Young Bermudians develop maritime skills

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