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Old 19 January 2007, 18:22   #31
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Ive just had a quick read through all the post again, obviously I have a personal interest in my schools future and i love a little competition however this is not the basis of the thread, I'm more than happy with the current number of students we teach at PPT.

Just to highlight my main concern is for the small "RYA Powerboat Training Industry" and for it to maintain its standards of tuition, equipment, insurance and profitability.

I would love to be convinced that everything will be OK for the Industry, however I just cant see how it will be OK without help from the RYA.

Jono
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Old 19 January 2007, 18:25   #32
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In 2002 there was 506 RYA Powerboat Training Centres issuing 17690 level 2 certificates total per year.

In 2006 there was 1053 RYA Powerboat Training Centres issuing 24750 level 2certificates total per year.

Can this dilution go on?


Jono
Jono - this implies is that on average everyone does less training per centre now than they used to. But that is not necessarily the case.

In 2002 on average each PBTC issued almost 35 certificates.
In 2006 on average each PBTC issued about 23 certificated.

But it says nothing about the distribution of certificates/schools. For the purposes of an example - lets assume that all of the 506 schools in 2002 were still operating in 2006. Lets also assume that each school issued the same no of certificates in 2002 (ie. all schools issued 35 certs). Now its possible that those schools all have exactly the same number of clients in 2006 that they had in 2002.

Now by 2006 another 547 schools have "opened". And the total number of certificates issued has gone up. If the above hypothesis was correct then those new schools are only issuing 13 certificates each.

Of course this is just one of a virtually infinite range of possibilities - my point is that these numbers mean very little without details about the underlying causes/changes. Jono, are you saying that you are losing business because of the increased competition?

Why has the number of centres gone up? Obviously some of it may be more and more people trying to make some money on PB training. Are these existing sailing (etc) centres now offering this (in which case many of them possibly do relatively few courses - as it is part of a portfolio) or people setting up on their own? Some of them are probably sailing clubs who didn't do "formal" PB training in the past and who for their own or insurer's reasons are now formalising safety boat training etc. Similarly I am sure there will be a few "outdoor centres" who whilst PBTC only actually train their own staff. Those centres may only run one or two courses a year training half a dozen people; and for ecconomic reasons it is much more sensible for them to do the training themselves than contract it out.

Just some thoughts - on an issue which doesn't directly affect me as I am not "in the business".
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Old 19 January 2007, 18:31   #33
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Polwart

Fair points, however in general at certain places in the country, myself and colleagues in the industry have witnessed the opening of lots of schools in certain areas. I felt this was happening so asked for the figures from the RYA to back my theory up.

It nice to see other peoples view from outside the industry.

Jono
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Old 19 January 2007, 18:49   #34
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Polwart

Fair points, however in general at certain places in the country, myself and colleagues in the industry have witnessed this. I felt this was happening so asked for the figures from the RYA to back my theory up.

It nice to see other peoples view from outside the industry.

Jono
Ah OK you were using the numbers to support an existing hypothesis rather than developing a hypothesis based on the numbers - so there may be more validity to it. Or at least it being part of the explanation. Like wales - I don't think Scotland has reached "saturation point" yet; of course we both have a lot fewer people and boats (and therefore boating people) than the S. Coast - so you would expect to see more schools down there.

The RYA's interests are not really to support the "training industry" per se, more the overall interests of the boating community. From their perspective - they have doubled the choice of venues where one can undertake a PB2 course. they have increased the number of people undertaking PB2 courses. Increased competition should reduce costs/improve value/quality so this is also in the interests of the "boating community".

At some point market forces will surely self limit the number of centres. (i.e. if I wanted to open a centre on the south coast I would find myself competing on cost (as I would have no track record, repeat business or word-of-mouth recommendations etc to rely on) etc. That is probably quite difficult to sustain - so it should put off new schools... This happens in other industries with many small entities too. I guess what I am saying is that the numbers of schools will be self limitting.)

What might be interesting from your perspective would be to get the numbers for the last 10 years for EVERY year and see if this trend is continuing or tailing off.
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Old 19 January 2007, 18:57   #35
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The RYA's interests are not really to support the "training industry" per se, more the overall interests of the boating community. From their perspective - they have doubled the choice of venues where one can undertake a PB2 course. they have increased the number of people undertaking PB2 courses.
100% Correct


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At some point market forces will surely self limit the number of centres. (i.e. if I wanted to open a centre on the south coast I would find myself competing on cost (as I would have no track record, repeat business or word-of-mouth recommendations etc to rely on) etc. That is probably quite difficult to sustain - so it should put off new schools... This happens in other industries with many small entities too. I guess what I am saying is that the numbers of schools will be self limitting.)
Agree 100%, but will the standards of tuition, equipment, insurance and profitability drop before this happens?

The figures i have are the most affective, not many records pre 2002.

Thanks for your input, it appreciated.

Jono
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Old 19 January 2007, 19:18   #36
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WMM

I see what your saying, however it will be the good at marketing and sales that survive, not necessarily the best at teaching.

I like the way the threads going, it good to hear other peoples views.

Jono
But sales and marketing are not free. It takes a good solid customer base to raise the capital required to invest in sales and marketing. Kind of an catch-22. So surely the good instructors/schools get by on word-of-mouth and the odd poster in the local post-office, until they get enough money back through to pay somebody who is good at sales and marketing?
Likewise, a new school/instructor who is crap won't get by on word-of-mouth, so won't get much business, so won't have much money to invest in sales and marketing, and they won't have bottomless pockets to keep chucking money at something that is slowly going down the pan.

It's a relatively small industry, even more so as it is so controlled by the RYA. Word-of-mouth is a lot more powerful than you are giving it credit for in this conversation. There are certain voices that carry a lot of authority.

Cheers, WMM
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Old 20 January 2007, 13:18   #37
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Jono is this your discussion topic for your trainers course.
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Old 20 January 2007, 14:21   #38
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Jono is this your discussion topic for your trainers course.

no
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Old 21 January 2007, 14:18   #39
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I have seen some friends who have taken these courses and passed and are taking their boats out to dangerous places in dangerous conditions breaking all proper rules and they think they know it all.
This could be a common problem and when people have qualified for there Level 2 they may think they know it all.

Jono, as you started this thread ill ask you...out of all your cetificates you issue how many of them are Advanced and how many pupils do you find come back after level 2 etc and take advanced? Do you encourage this other than from the point of view of revenue?

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Old 29 January 2007, 04:01   #40
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My opinion is if the RYA keeping letting new RYA Training Centres set up, the market slowly gets expands but more and more people are eating in to the market, eventually there will be not enough business for everyone, which may result in the quality & kit standards dropping and shortcuts in safety & insurance cover.

In my opinion the RYA will have to sort it sooner or later, I personally think it needs to happen before we see quality & kit standards dropping and shortcuts in safety & insurance cover.


Jono
Was this something you considered when you opened your new training centre in Southampton.
And is this why you closed it and concentrated your business in Wales.

Still not convinced that quality kit and standards will drop or that short cuts in safety will happen and it would be madness not to have sufficient insurance cover .
The RYA Inspectors do a good job and if the RYA get complaints they do investigate either by mystery shoppers or on the spot inspections .

It is an interesting thread though, but in my own opinion I think that a lot of schools also cease trading due to the very fact that they cannot compete with the more established schools . It is more about a lifestyle choice rather than a road to riches for many. Some schools grow and become very diverse in their on the water and shore based activities .Others concentrate on what they do in the powerboat world .

If you look at your average established Powerboat school they offer a huge range of courses, from level 1 to Advanced Instructors and all the other courses that compliment them First Aid ,Navigation ,Radar VHF DSC for a new school to compete against this from the start is very difficult as the instructors in all these disciplines don't come cheap unless you can do it all your self and the start up costs and advertising will be a huge drain on your finance's I think it's kind of self leveling, competition though is healthy, it can make you look at what you offer and see where you can improve in providing better quality than your competitors in tuition, kit and standards .
Just some rambling thoughts it would be interesting to find out how many schools for that same time period have ceased trading in relation to new schools starting up.
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