The South Devon Marine Academy forms new training partnership with WaterwayPlus Corp in South Korea

New agreement will create collaborative project opportunities

New agreement will create collaborative project opportunities

The UK-based South Devon Marine Academy (SDMA) is continuing to build connections around the world by recently signing a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ with WaterwayPlus Corp, the national utility company providing water services for South Korea.

Jung Tae Seo, CEO of WaterwayPlus, signed the agreement with Steve Caunter, assistant principal of SDMA, alongside Ahn Hyun-Ju, marina business manager, and Professor Jeong Uh-Cheul from the INHA Technical College in Incheon.

“The new agreement will generate a partnership full of benefits,” says the SDMA. “It will create collaborative project opportunities, with the main focus being on training staff from the South Korean marine sector to further improve their own teaching and training practice. The initiative with South Korea builds on the international programme being developed at South Devon College which will ultimately develop a stronger staff and student cultural exchange programme.”

At their base in Gimpo, South Korea, WaterwayPlus specialises in the management of marine facilities, marine tourism, and leisure and river cultural centres. WaterwayPlus operates as a subsidiary of the Korea Water Resources Corporation and is the owner and manager of Ara Marina, which is situated on an 18km canal connecting the Han River to the Yellow Sea at Incheon.

The signing of the agreement took place on 30 April at Paignton Campus, South Devon College in the UK. The initial agreement will see the college welcome an increased number of international students from further afield that will enjoy the benefit of learning from the college’s dedicated and passionate staff.

“We are delighted to now be delivering the second wave of teacher training which focuses on the hull repair course developed for South Korea,” says Paul Singer, business and qualification developer. “This builds on the existing marine engineering course development and training that has already been successfully delivered.”

Steve Caunter, assistant principal leading Hi-Tech and Digital at South Devon College, says: “It is an honour to continue building our partnership with WaterwayPlus. We are excited by the opportunities this will bring to both the college and our students whilst studying and developing essential skills, with this partnership presenting direct links to employment. There are currently skill gaps in the marine industry in South Korea which will benefit both current and future students in both countries.”

The South Devon Marine Academy is recognised as a centre of excellence for both on and off the water marine training, with a wide breadth of vocational and higher education courses for the marine sector including marine engineering, boatbuilding and marina and boat yard operations, together with sailing and powerboat licence courses. The college established a partnership to develop the marine leisure industry in South Korea last year.

The South Korean leisure marine industry has seen significant growth over the past 10 years, which has now led to a skills gap emerging within the service/repair and aftersales sector of the marine leisure industry. Co-operation with South Devon College is now helping to develop a quality-training programme for future technicians. This will further improve the leisure boating experience and create additional opportunities for employment within this growing industry.