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Trinity House RYA Yachtmaster Scholarship - one year on

by Becky Gilbert-Wood 15 Aug 14:00 BST
Suzie Taylor out on the water - Trinity House RYA Yachtmaster Scholarship © RYA

Last August, Trinity House and the RYA teamed up to launch the Trinity House RYA Yachtmaster™ Scholarship, an exciting new initiative for those working, or aspiring to work in the small commercial vessel sector.

One year on, the scholarship has seen grants awarded to eight deserving individuals, aiding career progression through opportunities for further training.

Dedicated to the safeguarding of shipping and seafarers, maritime charity Trinity House, has committed to providing an annual sum of £30,000, to be distributed by the Trinity House/RYA selection panel, amongst a number of carefully selected potential skippers. The aim of this funding is to assist applicants in getting the qualifications needed to pursue, or further their careers.

The small commercial vessel sector provides a huge and diverse employment opportunity for mariners, both within the UK, as well as overseas. From high-speed experience rides, eco-tourism and windfarm workboats, to racing charters on the Solent, superyachts around the globe and so much more - there is a career opportunity for every taste.

Having an impact

Lifelong-sailor, Suzie Taylor, was one of the first Trinity House RYA Yachtmaster™ Scholarship awardees. The ambitious 22-year-old, started her own business when she left school, teaching dinghy sailing, powerboating and working as a freelance deckhand on sailing yachts.

Keen to develop her career and forge a long-term future in the industry, Suzie has used the funds to complete her RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore Theory and STCW qualifications. She hopes to complete further training in preparation for her RYA Yachtmaster™ Offshore practical examination, with a view to becoming an RYA Cruising Instructor, teaching and working on larger commercial vessels.

"Career-wise, it's been a bit of a jump. I've gone from dinghies and powerboats, where I'm comfortable and confident, right 'back to school' learning the RYA Yachtmaster™ syllabus. I'm unbelievably grateful - it's already helped me develop my career, earn more money and opened up doors that were closed to me just last summer," says Suzie.

"For anyone thinking of applying for a grant, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain - the world is your oyster!"

Richard Falk, RYA Director of Training and Qualifications, said: "It takes a huge amount of commitment, dedication and training to reach the top and we are delighted to be working with Trinity House for a second year, to invest in future talent and give back to the industry.

"RYA qualifications are at the heart of the small commercial vessel sector and the scholarship provides a fantastic opportunity for those looking to progress within the marine industry. It's very encouraging to see the impact the grants are already having - particularly for those with years of experience in dinghy sailing and other watersports - as they take this opportunity to move their careers forward."

James Stevens, Younger Brother of Trinity House and Chairman of the RYA/MCA Yachtmaster™ Qualification Panel, commented: "Trinity House recognise the importance of the RYA Yachtmaster™ in the maritime world and are pleased to be working with the RYA to encourage and assist the yacht captains and small craft skippers of the future."

It could be you

The next round of applications for the Trinity House RYA Yachtmaster™ Scholarship close on Monday 09 September 2019. To apply, candidates must be able to demonstrate a high level of commitment and achievement in the industry, as well as a clear intention to work within the small commercial vessel sector. Those keen to enter the industry will be able to show a history of excellence in studies, or in leisure boating activity.

Applications should be supported by an endorsement from the principal of one of the RYA's vast network of RYA recognised training centres, where candidates will have shown exceptional boating, navigation and/or leadership skills. Principals can also nominate suitable candidates.

For more information, eligibility, selection criteria and applications visit rya.org.uk/go/TrinityHouse.

To find out more about RYA training schemes and courses visit rya.org.uk/training.

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