Endeavour has, for eight years, inspired Bermuda’s youth to learn skills and develop confidence through sailing. What may be less well known about Endeavour is how it is building pathways into maritime careers for young Bermudians. The Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme is a seven-week training programme, offered in partnership with the Bermuda College Professional and Career Education (PACE) Division, for Bermudians aged 16 and older who are interested in seeking employment in the maritime industry.

The maritime career programme is a natural extension of Endeavour’s work in getting youngsters from all socioeconomic backgrounds out on the water and connecting them with Bermuda’s maritime heritage. Since its inception in 2015, Endeavour has introduced more than 6,000 young people aged from five to their early 30s to a powerful learning experience that builds teaming abilities and confidence and enables practical application of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) concepts. Many learnt to sail through the Endeavour Middle School Programme and advanced their skills through additional programmes.

Endeavour’s Maritime Career Springboard Programme launched in 2018. Since then, 64 Bermudians have completed the programme, and some have advanced into maritime education or employment. A maximum of 15 places are available each year for the programme, which takes place in January and February. Participants work towards internationally recognised qualifications in sailing and powerboat instruction, marine first aid and marine VHF radio communication.

Jennifer Pitcher, executive director of Endeavour, described how the programme is geared towards preparing participants for maritime careers. “We partner with different organisations across Bermuda and have interactive site visits, allowing students to experience a day in the life of people who work in maritime industries. We also work with the students on resume writing and interview preparation skills, how and where to apply for jobs and best practices of the industry.

“There is a wide range of potential careers. Take the water sports industry, for example, which includes sailing instructors, charter fishing boats, jet ski operators and tour boats; there’s working with Marine and Ports Services on the ferries or tugboats; shipping and logistics; the Maritime Operations Centre; superyachts; and the Coast Guard.

“We also have great relationships with the boatyards. One of our partners is Spar Yard Marine Services in Dockyard. And one of our site visits is to Ocean Sails in St. George’s, where the students learn about traditional sail-making and discover the skills involved. It’s great for the students, giving them exposure to many different industries and connections with potential employers.”

One of the programme’s primary aims is to enhance employability for young Bermudians seeking to work in the maritime industry. And the combination of rigorous training, industry exposure and earned certifications make graduates attractive to both employers and maritime schools around the world. “Many of our alumni have done internships with our partner organisations and some have gone on to become full-time staff members,” Pitcher said. “I’d say at least 10 percent of the young people who have come through the programme have gone on to do pre-apprenticeships to gain more experience and some of them are in maritime schools in the US or the UK.” The opportunities extend beyond Bermuda. Endeavour has a partnership with SailGP, the international sailing competition featuring races between high-tech foiling catamarans. Some young Bermudians have enjoyed internships with the global organisation, travelling to destinations including Singapore, Dubai and San Francisco. One of those interns, Tré Maxwell, now works full-time for SailGP in Regatta Services.

Would-be applicants should be aware that while potentially highly rewarding, the springboard programme is intensive and requires full commitment over its seven weeks. No sailing experience is necessary, but the programme’s interview panel look for an interest in a maritime career, a positive attitude, a willingness to learn and try new things, and a strong work ethic.

Those interested in participating in the Endeavour Maritime Career Springboard Programme should submit a resume and cover letter explaining why they are a strong candidate to education@endeavour.bm. Applications are accepted year-round, but those applying for the January–February 2024 programme should apply by the first week of November.

5 Freeport Drive, Somerset – www.endeavour.bminfo@endeavour.bm