Two separate crew training businesses that recently started cooperating are both planning expansion over the next six months to a year. The two concerned are Bristol-based Beyond Limits Training (BLT) and Silver Swan Recruitment, which is located in south London.
BLT is looking to expand through the acquisition of a second facility, which will allow it to broaden the range of courses it offers including the provision of residential courses. The company is currently in negotiation for a site and hopes to complete this by the end of 2014.
Formed three years ago by John Davies, a former Royal Marine and now managing director, BLT markets a portfolio of courses that centre on providing STCW95 training covering basic safety training, fire prevention and firefighting and personal survival techniques (sea survival courses). It recently added a Proficiency in Designed Security Duties course, which relates to new regulations that came into force from January 1, 2014 as contained within the STCW Conventions and Code.
Davies told SB: “We are almost totally engaged in maritime training for both superyacht and commercial marine personnel. Primarily those coming here for training are from, or are going to work on superyachts with around 70% of our trainees linked to yachts. The facility, which I hope to have in operation by the end of the year, will allow us to offer a wider range of courses and also develop residential courses which we cannot do at present.
“I am delighted with how the business has grown,” Davies added. “We invest in very little marketing; our success can be attributed to word of mouth referrals and our online presence. Attendees come from all over the world and so far 100% said they would recommend the courses to a friend. Quality is extremely important to us, all of our courses are MCA accredited and are taught by people with direct experience in the field. 70% of the courses are practical and 30% theory.”
BLT has recently strengthened its market position by collaborating with Silver Swan Recruitment, which specialises in providing chalet staff to ski resorts. More recently it has started working in the superyacht sector.
“We deal mainly with chalet staff recruitment,” owner Philippa Orford told SB. “Many of the chalet staff return after the season and then go onto yachts, which is why we started working with Beyond Limits Training so as to provide them with their required STCW training.”
Orford added: “I plan to expand the yachting side of the business from January and will be looking to appoint a specialist in that area later this year.”