ONE of the Island's top cadets will set sail for a superyacht career after graduating from UKSA.

Joe Burnip, 21, has finished the centre's flagship course, the Superyacht Cadetship, and has been named as the CrewFo top cadet for the 2018/19 course.

At a ceremony held last week, family, friends and UKSA staff celebrated Joe's graduation alongside fellow Islander, 18-year-old Harry Woolford.

Joe, of Cowes, who was sponsored through the first phase of the course by Seafarers UK and the Royal Yacht Squadron, was presented with the award by Megan Jones, the previous year's top cadet.

He said: "The cadetship is a very intensive course. It's pretty full on, but it does set you up well for the industry.

"After putting in all the time and effort, you know you've worked super hard to achieve what you have, and this makes it ten times better."

Joe said he couldn't thank the instructors at UKSA enough for helping him develop into the cadet he is today.

Both graduates have now completed the first phase of the a four-year programme and will now head to the seas working on superyachts.

Joe has secured a role onboard a 50-metre vessel currently based in Monaco.

He said: "I've got a very busy season ahead of me as the boat is always moving around the Mediterranean. The position I've secured is an amazing starting point and I can't wait to see what the next 12 months bring."

Chief executive at UKSA, Ben Willows, said: "I would like to congratulate Joe on achieving the coveted Top Cadet award. Joe began his journey with UKSA as a child, attending our H2O Watersports Club aged eight, before returning to us to complete his keel boating course and then securing his place as a cadet. I look forward to following Joe's career in the industry."

Mr Willows also said student funding played a key part in widening access to maritime training.

In 2018, 28 per cent of UKSA's career students were part or fully-funded and UKSA are actively working to grow this figure to 50 per cent by 2020.

He said: "Our vision is to offer maritime training to as wide a number of people as possible and funding from our loyal partners is vital to delivering this vision."