Q&A with Matthew Elliott From The MTA

  • Posted January 30, 2023

Following the recent announcement of our training and development partnership with the Maritime Training Academy, we asked Matthew Elliott, Global Account Manager, a bit more about the MTA and its courses, why you would want to undertake an MTA course and the future career potential following completion.

How long have you worked for the MTA and what is it that gives you such passion to represent them and sell their courses?

I have worked at MTA now for 5 years and enjoy it more every day. I take pride in selling our courses because it is a product that I truly believe in. I see everyday how our courses can help students and it is great seeing them progress through the ranks post studying. One of the job highlights is traveling around the world to yacht shows and being able to represent the company and meet our students. We focus on providing a personal service and try to go that extra mile for our clients and students.

On average, how many courses do the MTA run each year and how many individuals enrol on them?

We currently have 26 Diploma courses and a number of short courses. Our student numbers vary depending on the course, we get up to 60 students each year on our Diplomas. Each course has an annual start date, there is always a good time to enrol and begin studying.

Do you find that course attendees come from a specific area of the industry?

Mainly onboard, we have a huge number of students studying with us who are either looking to study something such as Superyacht Operations to improve their knowledge and learn more about the onboard operations involved. Or, we have a lot of students onboard who are looking to move into a shore based role within the near future and study anyone of our shore based Diploma courses.

An example being a Captain who has worked onboard for 15 years, who is now looking to be closer to home and study the Superyacht Management Diploma. They can achieve their goal of moving shoreside, but at the same time be able to put their onboard experience to good use. That experience will ideally help in their future role, but will also help in whichever course they choose.

What is your most popular course?

We have a lot of courses throughout the maritime industry, they range from Maritime Law to Maritime Firefighting. Currently our Superyacht courses are proving to be the most popular. The two courses that get the most attention are Superyacht Management and Yacht Brokerage.

You have some incredible lecturers on your courses from all corners of the industry. Do you also work with governing bodies and recognised industry associations to ensure that your courses remain current and in line with wider qualifications?

We know how important it is for our students to have a qualification that they feel will help within their career, meaning recognition is an important aspect when it comes to choosing which training provider and which course to study. Our Course Authors and Directors are all working within the industry so they know the information that our students need.

Because of this, we have a lot of support. Our superyacht courses are recognized by various leading companies such as Camper & Nicholson, Burgess, RINA, IMAREST, PYA, Ocean Independence. We have many students working for the biggest yachting companies who value the support we are able to give and reputation an MTA Diploma carries within the industry.

What can a course attendee expect from an MTA course in terms of learning, support and post-course career opportunities?

Students will enjoy full support throughout their course. It is up to the student to make time for their studies and they will need to dedicate a good amount of time to complete the course. However, we have a Training team on hand who are dedicated to giving the student support. There is always someone that the student can reach out to whether that is over the phone or via email.

We are there to help if the student needs help, or if they simply want to reach out for some advice. We also give our students access to our LinkedIn group and Facebook community, this gives them a platform to reach out to other students on their course. It is great for networking and we have had students find their current job roles based on these groups.

What do you offer in terms of pre-course and post-course careers support?

We offer advice and can help a student pick the right course for them in the initial stages, and our Training team are on hand throughout the students journey when completing their course. But, post-course we are always looking for ways to improve our service, which is why we are very excited to work with SYR.  We feel this will benefit our students massively and offer them that post-course career support that we know they are looking for.

Do you find that having an MTA course on a CV is leading to candidates enjoying a higher chance of success?

From our point of view, it’s a simple yes. I am very lucky in the fact that I get to travel around the world and meet with various yacht management companies, crew agencies, shipyard manager etc. When I speak with them, the feedback I get is that they take candidates very seriously if they have an MTA Diploma. We can’t promise students their dream jobs, but we can provide a course that will help their careers and certainly lead to more opportunities within the industry, and get that dream job! Whether that is progressing their superyacht career, or helping them get their first role within the industry.

Mid & Late career retraining and upskilling is becoming more and more popular, especially in the post-COVID era. Do you see a lot of your course attendees looking to bolster their skills within their existing role, or taking part on a course on the basis of seeking new employment?

We have all types of individuals on our courses at various stages of their career, we have students who are new to the industry and looking to find their first job role within the industry, they may be struggling to find that role so they are looking to show potential employers their commitment to self-development by studying our courses. We also have individuals who have many years of experience within the industry and are now looking for an industry recognized qualification to add on their CV alongside their experience.

We also have individuals who are enjoying retirement and simply like to read our course material. Our courses are updated annually with any changes and developments that are happening within the industry, so a lot of student’s study with us to simply update themselves on the latest industry knowledge.

What’s in the pipeline for the MTA moving forwards in terms of product offering?

We are always looking on ways that we can improve a students experience with us. We are always looking at how advances in technology can help a students ability to learn. Added to this, we always take feedback from our students very seriously. We are often asking our students which courses they would like us to bring out next, so we are regularly bringing out new courses and looking to find new Authors/Directors who can help with new course material.

If you’d like to know more about the SYR/MTA partnership or indeed about job placements then please contact SYR at hello@superyachtrecruiter.com 

For training, courses and career advice please contact MTA at info@maritimetrainingacademy.com or visit  maritimetrainingacademy.com