Wild adventures await – which would you choose?

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1) University, £9,000 a year debt for online courses, stuck at home, no guarantee of a job at the end of it.

2) Shuttleworth College Outdoor Adventure, sail, paddle, and climb, earning industry qualifications and get a job anywhere in world in the ‘outdoor’ sector.

Alfie Wild of Central Bedfordshire did the latter and has been acting as associate instructor on campus at Old Warden country park, and now he is working over the summer earning good money at busy adventure camps. In September he will be heading off to the UK Sailing Academy (UKSA) to enrol into their Superyacht Cadetship and start an exciting career in the Mediterranean and similar appealing locations.

Alfie who was 18 on June 14th, says joining Shuttleworth College at 16 from school was the best decision he made – after some initial misgivings.

“The first time I went sailing I really didn’t like it, but since then it has now become my best skill within water sports and I’m now looking forward to life crewing on a superyacht. 

“This time next year my job duties on board a superyacht will include painting, fibreglass restoration, varnishing and polishing, carpentry and sanding, line maintenance, exterior maintenance, running water sports sessions and driving tenders,” said Alfie, who has followed his older brother Sam, who was a student in 2016/18, and then a tutored at the Old Warden.

The Outdoor Adventure Level 3 two-year Diploma and Extended Diploma, cover every type of activity from sailing, kayaking and canoeing, powerboating, rock climbing and much more.  

Along the way students can obtain National Governing Body (NGB) qualifications, recognised around the world. Alfie achieved his Paddle Sport Instructor, Dinghy Instructor and Power Boat Level 2 alongside his First Aid at Work and Safeguarding (working with young people). There are more qualifications available. This allowed Alfie to gain work this summer in businesses running day events for schools and families in the UK.

Course Manager Nathan Moore says: “NGB certificates enable people to work overseas where British qualifications are accepted as a high standard. With the current restrictions on travel, more people are holidaying in the UK and taking up outdoor activities, so businesses in this field are now overwhelmed with demand – making jobs readily available for our students.”

So, which would you choose? Visit bedford.ac.uk to find out more about qualifications you can obtain.

And don’t think this route means you can’t get a degree. Level 4 and 5 Higher National courses are a natural progression from Level 3, building “ownership” of learning, as well as offering further trips and expeditions. Level 4 and 5 are the first two years of Higher Education, enabling student to move on to a Level 6 degree top-up programme.

Added Nathan: “Our courses are a great way to enjoy life, gain some valuable experiences, have the ability to earn along the way and head towards a fulfilling career.”