Ever since I started in the yachting industry 16 years ago -and probably before- there has been talk of a shortage in quality crew. I am not convinced that much has been done about it. In fact, I feel the problem has been made worse for several reasons. The most obvious one being the sheer numbers of yachts ordered and build. Also, yachtmaster licenses which -with enough miles in your logbook- can be obtained in as little as two weeks, have become unaccepted under more and more flags. Insurance companies have had a very hard couple of years, mainly through meteorological and environmental causes, but it made them scrutinise captain’s cv’s a little more closely than they did before.
Surely all the above are, in a way positive developments for our industry, but it hasn’t helped us to get more qualified crew.
Three years ago I launched the online course How To Work On Pocket Superyachts, in an attempt to contribute to the solution of the issue. However, I bumped into 2 issues. One was that completely novice crew -who were very easy to motivate to enroll in the course- were not employable after the course as they still lacked the practical training.
The other issue related to those crew with 2 or 3 years yachting experience. They could learn a great deal from the course, but would probably have to sit through the parts that they already knew. These were much harder to sell a course that would offer them additional knowledge to make them better and more confident in their job. They are looking only to invest in certificates that are mandatory to go to the next step in their career.
We are now working on a plan, together with some partnering companies, to add the practical aspects to a course that will transform complete novice crew to high level Pocket Superyacht professionals over the course of several months. This will happen through extensive online theory classes, intense practical seatime modules and finally, once they passed certain criteria, an actual (paid!) job in a well supported environment.
The feedback from the people out of our network is uniformly positively excited.
If you would like to know more about these plans, feel free to reach out to me.
If you want to have a look at the existing online course curriculum, which in the end will only make up a fraction of this new course, have a look at https://wops.teachable.com/p/how-to-work-on-pocket-superyachts (or just google “work on Pocket Superyachts”).
CEO (Creative Encouraging Organiser)
Article in The Islander Magazine