The Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme is a seven-week intensive training to encourage and support Bermudian youth 16 and older toward starting a maritime career. The programme is offered through a partnership with the Bermuda College Division of Professional and Career Education [PACE].
Young people who have taken part in the Springboard Programme have gone on to do so much expanding their horizons and starting their maritime careers including becoming sailing instructors, apprenticing with boat mechanics, and even had the opportunity to work internationally.
And while there has been so much uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there are so many accomplishments to celebrate and be proud of amongst young Bermudians who have successfully completed the Springboard Programme and are now working in the maritime industry.
Jeremiah Samuels was thrilled at the chance to get back out on the water through the Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme. A knee injury meant he had to give up sailing for a time. But the opportunity to get back on the water presented itself while doing a semester at the Bermuda College and he came across a flyer for the Springboard Programme.
“I immediately jumped at the opportunity to go sailing again and immerse myself in something new,” said Mr Samuels.
He joined the cohort earlier this year and quickly realised that the programme wasn’t just about sailing.
“It is such an eye opening experience that shows participants so many different paths and not just sailing,” he said. “ Not to mention the various friends and connections that you will certainly make along the way.”
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Mr Samuels has been able put his hard work as one of the 2020 graduates to use this summer.
He is currently working as a dinghy instructor with USail Bermuda where he’s continuing to improve and putting to use everything he learned through the Endeavour programme.
“I quickly got addicted to being a part of the programme and eventually got myself into a groove where I was able to make great progress very quickly. Participating in the programme reminded me that I really can excel at whatever I put my mind to and work for, which for me was an invaluable reminder.”
He encourages Bermudians to seek out the opportunity, especially anyone who enjoys being on the water and just looking for an alternate path in life.
“Doing the Springboard Programme helped to change my entire perspective and reveal something that I truly love to do – sail!”
A love of the ocean led Kris Cameron to realise that with the right qualifications it all could lead to “an enjoyable and rewarding career” on the water.
After taking part in the Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme, Mr Cameron successfully landed an apprenticeship as a Marine Diesel technician at Spar Yard. He hopes to eventually go overseas to become a certified marine diesel mechanic, gain his pilot’s license and eventually start his own charter boat business.
“I have a passion for the ocean. Bermuda is surrounded by water and there are endless opportunities in the maritime industry,” said Mr Cameron.
He took part in the 2019 Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme and has felt that it has been an amazing opportunity to be able to work in his chosen career.
“It was a tremendous help putting me on a platform that has given me leeway to be able to secure a job in the maritime industry,” he said.
The programme, he added, is the perfect avenue for those who are interested in furthering their career prospects, especially if they love the idea of working on the water.
Tre Maxwell never imagined he’d be teaching sailing in Italy but his time participating in the pilot Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme brought with it an incredible network of contacts.
In 2018, he spent about six months during the summer season, which runs from early March – October, in Lake Garda, Italy teaching sailing at the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre. He’s now returned to Bermuda and joined the Endeavour team to provide his coaching expertise during Endeavour’s experiential learning programmes.
“I was pretty hyped when I returned from Italy and I was approached by Endeavour to work with them as a full-time instructor because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do on my return to Bermuda.”
While the Endeavour’s programmes have looked a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our team has still been ‘non-stop,’ creating meaningful learning experiences for Bermuda’s youth, said Mr Maxwell.
For the summer programme each instructor has a small pod of 4-6 sailors to help minimise the amount of interaction while staying within strict safety ratios.
But he said, “It feels really good to be back on the water after a long time, and it is amazing to see the enthusiasm of the sailors of all levels whether they are new to sailing or our returning Endeavour Grads who started sailing with us last year who are advancing their skills. Everyone is super grateful for the opportunity and getting out on the water”.
While the Springboard Programme was a great way for Mr Maxwell to further his sail coaching skills, it also opened his eyes to the myriad jobs within the industry.
“Endeavour is definitely a big part in getting more people involved in sailing and really introduced me to more about the industry, but I also realised the incredible connections that I made through the programme. In Bermuda it really is a lot about the contacts you make and word of mouth. If you just go down to a boatyard or a dock, someone always has some way they can help. If they don’t have an opportunity, they usually know someone that does. Bermudians are very generous like that. Just get yourself out there and show that you want to get into this industry and go from there.”
“I would encourage young people seeking something exciting and different to just working in an office to enroll in the Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard programme, or get involved with the Spirit of Bermuda as there are endless career pathways to take within the maritime industry.”
Endeavour will be inviting applications for the 2021 Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme in the fall.
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