Last week I drove our new AV training systems back from Holland to the UK. This is due to moving our electronics training courses for superyacht crew to a new facility in Liverpool.
I’ve had a couple of people ask me “Why Liverpool?”. Perhaps some have a preconception that crew training courses normally run in yachting epicentres, such as Antibes. However, we had already proved the business model near Amsterdam. With what we offered, how we went about it, and good accessibility – people kept coming. So, why change a good thing?
Training: Starting Out
In June 2017 we launched our first “Yacht Entertainment Systems” class, near Amsterdam. The space was loaned to us by equipment distributor AVA. Soon after, we were running regular sellout classes there.
It was easy for existing or aspiring superyacht crew to fly into Amsterdam. However, the facility itself was a little remote. There wasn’t a great choice of accommodation locally for the students. We did compensate by providing transport, but it still wasn’t always ideal. Prices and availability could fluctuate, making students seek better value further out. Amsterdam and surrounding areas are generally expensive. As most of our students pay privately, overall cost and value is very important to them.
The space was also not ours full time. As our course frequency increased, it was time consuming to reorganise the space and our equipment between regular short classes.
It also became more difficult for me to travel from the UK to attend each class in person. Yet I saw real value in being a part of the sessions and meeting the students.
Additionally, a lot of our training clients were British mechanical or electrical engineering officers. These were usually travelling to and from the UK.
Our students from the UK can get to us much easier now. For our international client base, Liverpool and Manchester International airports are close by. London is also accessible in just over 2 hours by fast train, putting further major airports within easy reach.
Visiting students now have a lower overall cost of visiting our classes. There’s a wide choice of good-value accommodation, eateries, tourist attractions, shops and bars.
I’m also the main driving force behind the business and Liverpool is my home. So between classes I can also now be onsite every day, continually developing the systems, facility and business.
Its also a fantastic city to visit, especially for seafarers, with its strong maritime history.
Our New Facility
Our new home is in a large office suite in Liverpool city centre. This means enough space for two full-time training suites. One will be a high-specification audio-visual (AV) training and demo room. Here students will learn to support a superyacht’s crucial AV and control systems. The rest of the space will host our other marine electronics courses.
The new facility will feature our brand new and improved training systems. These now feature even more of the common equipment found on board a typical superyacht. We truly believe we’ve taken our already-popular courses to the next level now.
Visitors can also enjoy a time out on our rooftop terrace, or relax after class in the building’s bar and restaurant.
The Future for our Superyacht Electronics Courses
With the new home for our marine electronics courses settled. What else is in store?
We strive to continually improve our courses, taking on-board student feedback. Together with our own ethos and ethics, this really helps drive our direction. Without giving TOO much away, lets see what else this winter brings!
Between forthcoming classes this Autumn, we’ll also be attending Monaco Yacht Show and METS Trade Amsterdam.
I am also looking at a full re-brand of the business. Because we are no longer a recruitment agency for superyacht ETOs, and our courses are certainly not just for ETOs!
And if you weren’t already aware, we have a new USA academy opening in Fort Lauderdale in October…
Thank you for reading this article! Your honest feedback would be greatly appreciated! Scott Molloy, Managing Director Just ETOs Ltd
Just ETOs’ next training season starts in Liverpool, UK on 10th September.