UKSA student awarded prestigious accolade

Sea Cadet and UKSA Professional Yacht Cadet Jake Strachan, aged 18 from Peterhead, Aberdeenshire has been awarded the prestigious Fisgard Plate in recognition of his achievements in his Sea Cadet Class One Marine Engineering examinations.

Jake was presented with the prestigious accolade on November 23rd at UKSA, Cowes on the Isle of Wight by Fisgard Association representative Stephen White. Jake achieved the highest combined marks in his exams whilst with the Sea Cadets and this achievement is equivalent of gaining the position of artificer – an exceptionally well-trained navy rating and looked upon as one of the most highly trained engineers on board a ship. Jake was also presented with a cheque for £100 to put towards ongoing professional development.

Jake, a member of the Peterhead Sea Cadets, is now studying to be an officer on UKSA’s flagship course – the Professional Yacht Cadetship. The course is a structured four year programme designed specifically for the superyacht industry and developed in close consultation with the MCA and the wider industry. The course allows students to ‘earn while they learn’ due to the combination of training at UKSA and paid work placements in the superyacht industry. Jake said:

“It’s an honour to receive the award and a great way to top off my cadet career after putting in so much work. When I was told I had received it, I was a bit overwhelmed by it all!” Jake told us more about his plans for the future: “I’d like to work my way up through the ranks of the superyacht industry and hopefully progress quickly. I am hoping to circumnavigate the Arctic Circle during my training – it a place that has always fascinated me and something I’ve always wanted to achieve.”

Jake is being part-funded through his professional studies at UKSA by the Royal Merchant Navy Education Foundation (RMNEF) – whose beneficiaries are provided support that ‘enables education’. RMNEF CEO Charles Heron-Watson said:

“We are delighted to learn that Jake has been awarded the Fisgard Plate to mark his achievements while he was a Sea Cadet. He is clearly a young man who is making the most of the career opportunities open to him. Well done!”

The Fisgard Association is made up of those who were trained as artificers at HMS Fisgard – the Royal Navy Artificer Training Establishment between 1848 – 1983. Stephen, a retired Royal Navy Lieutenant Commander with 36 years’ service commented:

“The Royal Navy depends very heavily on the work and the quality of its engineers and technicians; quite a few started their nautical lives in the Sea Cadet Corps. This is a great foundation on which to build a career at sea, either in the Royal Navy or in the commercial sector and I believe Jake will prove to be an asset to whoever employs him, and on behalf of the Fisgard Association, I wish him the very best of good fortune.”

From left to right: UKSA CEO Ben Willows, UKSA student and Sea Cadet Jake Strachan, Fisgard Association representative Stephen White and UKSA Cadet Manager Emma Baggett.
From left to right: UKSA CEO Ben Willows, UKSA student and Sea Cadet Jake Strachan, Fisgard Association representative Stephen White and UKSA Cadet Manager Emma Baggett.

UKSA and the Sea Cadets work together on a national level to benefit young people and together provide a wide range of opportunities with the maritime sector. UKSA’s CEO Ben Willows added:

“We are delighted to see Jake achieving such a prestigious accolade and hope to see him go on to enjoy an enduring relationship with the sea thanks to his time as a Sea Cadet and his Professional Yacht Cadet training at UKSA. We wish Jake the best of luck with his continued studies at UKSA.”