The Royal Yacht Squadron Isle of Wight Foundation hosts inaugural event in Cowes.

The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights were recently delighted to attend the launch of the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Foundation.  The Foundation is a charitable cause established by the Squadron to help young people on the island gain access to education that will help them secure a career in the marine sector.  A number of the Livery attended and Paul Harris, the administrator of the Shipwright’s Apprenticeship Scheme, spoke about the benefits of training apprentices at a skills workshop at the event.

In the presence of the Lord Lieutenant and High Sherriff, the RYS Commodore welcomed nearly a 100 delegates to an event at the Castle in Cowes which included an introduction to the new RYS Foundation as well as workshops on various aspects on training, skills and apprenticeships.   In his opening remarks Commodore Christopher Sharples announced that, as part of the Royal Yacht Squadron’s Bicentenary this year, the members were contributing to a capital fund with the aim of creating a legacy that would assist local young people who aspired to work in the marine industry and who needed assistance in gaining the necessary skills. ‘Our members are well aware of some of the unique challenges facing young people on this beautiful island.  They are keen to help in a way that reflects their own interests in the maritime environment and are see this as a long term project.’

Major-General Martin White (Lord Lieutenant) is a Trustee and declared that ‘I am, as you might have guessed a huge and enthusiastic supporter of the Foundation. I believe it will become an important player in assisting our young into a wide range of maritime careers’.

Antony Matusch, who is Chairman of the new Foundation, confirmed that  it is for young people aged 15 to 29 who live on the Island, or are closely connected to it, need further education, either academic or vocational, and who are seeking a career with a maritime connection.  He told the attendees, which included many from the educational sector: ‘We need you to spread the word that we now exist and what we do.  Please do not hesitate to recommend us and encourage applications’.

These opening remarks were followed by workshops on different aspects of skills, training and apprenticeship opportunities that were led by:

  • Sarah Dhanda.  Senior Federation Director of the British Marine Federation
  • Paul Harris from the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights
  • David Loudon from the Isle of Wight College

The event was attended by local community leaders and representatives of marine industries.

Carla from Richardson’s Yacht Services commented ‘We take on many apprentices and any help that the new Foundation can give in accessing and supporting local would-be  apprentices, particularly in the over 21 age group will be invaluable’.

Malcolm Thorpe from Bembridge Harbour Authority said ‘It is very re-assuring to hear the RYS Foundation want to be involved with supporting youngsters from all backgrounds who see themselves having a career in the marine world’

The Shipwright’s Apprenticeship Scheme and the Royal Yacht Squadron Foundation will be working together to encourage and enable more marine apprenticeship training to take place on the Isle of Wight with assistance and funding for both companies and individuals.

RYS Foundation contacts:


General Information:

Marine Industry:

SA Scheme contacts:

Administrator: 01784 223617

Clerk: 020 7606 2376