Skipper Trainee Scheme

Cardiff Yachting Company – Skipper Trainee Scheme (Replaces CYCo Internship Scheme)


Have you ever wanted to have a career at sea? Could you be a master of a superyacht, sail yacht, pilot boat or research vessel? Where do I start? Isn’t this expensive? Where can I find funds to assist? Just some questions, there will be many more.

Uniquely in Wales, possibly the only second one in the UK, Cardiff Yachting Company is offering an accessible pathway into the marine industry for the community of the Bristol Channel whether a young person or those persons wishing to change their careers.

Collective experience with the Internship Scheme over the past 2 years has informed our new Skipper Trainee Scheme.

The Skipper Trainee Scheme has two levels.

Foundation Level – This is aimed at potential trainees who are looking at a 3 month programme to attain RYA Day Skipper Sail and RYA Level 2 Powerboat, RYA First Aid, RYA VHF Course together with boat maintenance, mate duties and other seatime/mile building opportunities.

Professional Level – This is aimed  at potential trainees who are seeking to develop their skipper qualifications to become a commercially endorsed yachtmaster from either a career change or post-foundation level. The scheme recognises that each individual trainee has limitations as to how the goals are achieved as an individual and from a company point of view,


Skipper Trainee Scheme – Foundation Level Programme

This is achieved through a 12 week scheme working with the company and collaborative partners.

At the end of the programme you will have had experiences, industry standard training and certificates that will set you up for a career either sail or motor. Moreover, if this is not for you then experiences will have likely helped you reach the decision and will stand you in good stead for the future. Start dates are seen below.

  Foundation Level Programme Start Dates
1 Monday 12/04/21 to Friday 02/07/21
2 Monday 31/05/21 to Friday 21/08/21
3 Monday 05/07/21 to Friday 25/09/21


  Trainee Foundation Level Programme
1 Induction, Comp. Crew, First Aid Course
2 RYA Day Skipper Theory
3 Boat Maintenance
4 Challenge Wales Experience
5 Company Mate Experience
6 RYA L2 Powerboat – Stage 2 Options
7 Company Mate Experience
8 Maintenance, VHF Course & Exam
9 Challenge Wales Volunteer
10 Co. Mate Experience & Diesel Engine
11 RYA Day Skipper Practical Course
12 Company Mate Experience

The programme is a guide and there will be inevitable changes brought about by company operations


Fitness to Participate in the Programme

Being a master at sea in relies on your fitness to pass the MCA ENG1 Medical – There are a number of doctors who are authorised to conduct this examination across the Bristol Channel area. The maximum published fee is £95.00. This is mandatory before moving onto the Professional Level Programme. You should also be able to swim 200 metres.


Skipper Trainee Scheme – Professional Level Programme

The programme will largely be bespoke programme with a gaol of achieving the Commercially Endorsed Yachtmaster Offshore (Sail) or Advanced Powerboat Certificate of Competence.  The programme will allow development outside the minimum areas especially in terms of maintenance, seamanship, customer relations, possibly instructing, and marketing activities.

Yachtmaster Offshore Exam – Minimum Requirements – Minimum age = 18 years, RYA First Aid Certificate, RYA SRC VHF Operator’s Licence. Seatime – 2500 miles logged in last 10 yrs, includes 5 x 60 mile passages (2 as skipper and 2 overnight passages), 50 days living aboard, 5 days as skipper 50% of the qualifying time must be in  tidal waters.

Advanced Powerboat Examination – Minimum age = 17 years, RYA First Aid Certificate, RYA SRC VHF Operator’s Licence. Seatime -2 Years Relevant Experience & night pilotage, 30 days, 2 days as skipper, 800 miles, 12hrs night. Successful Advanced PB Course Completion reduces Seatime – 400 miles logged in last 10 years, 20 days, 2 days as skipper & 12 night hours

50% of the qualifying time must be in tidal waters


Application & Selection Process

Applications are encouraged from any person with the only qualification is being over 18 years of age. An email application outlining what you would like to achieve and your previous experience  to be sent to or even a booking enquiry form

There will be an Informal Interview Process conducted by the Principal and an Independent Assessor. They will seek to measure your suitability for the role and motivation to see the process through to its conclusion. This can be carried out by way of a Zoom Conference.

The Principal welcomes an informal face to face meeting to discuss the scheme and your suitability to undertake the opportunity. This may have to be pre-arranged to fit in with other commitments.


My Responsibilities whilst being an Internee?

You may have funding from external sources to carry out the Internship and consequently those parties will have a stakeholder interest in your conduct and commitment to the scheme. Your behaviour standards are set out in the CYCo Code of Conduct which will be outlined in the Induction at the beginning of the programme.

If you without notice and/or fail to provide a medical reason to leave a formal part of the course then it is likely you will by default forfeit your place on the scheme.

The programme is about your development – if you have an alternative paid job or other opportunity emerges, then you can withdraw your commitment to the scheme directly other than to participate in an exit review meeting.


External Funding

Currently there is an opportunity to receive up to £250.00 per month Job Experience Allowance for up to 2 months together with travelling expenses from Job Centre Plus. This can contribute towards your MCA Medical Examination, RYA First Aid, VHF Course and Exam, boots and waterproofs.

There is also a possibility of funding from Reardon Smith Nautical Trust for Wales Residents less than 25 years of age to cover other course fees.

Cardiff Yachting Company has set aside a limited fund towards non-discretionary grants for course fees for those ineligible to receive funding from other sources.


Want to get underway? – Contact the Programme Director – Peter Pope

Booking Enquiry Form

07403 151561 –


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Company Registration Number: 7605742