Our extensive knowledge of the industry and large network of industry contacts gives us a powerful platform to help superyacht captains and crew. This is why we actively engage in best practice seminars and events to facilitate the career advancement of crew members and keep them up-to-date with new developments and standards in the yachting industry.
YPI CREW was delighted to sponsor an event organised by ACREW at the IYCA in Antibes on Thursday 7th April and Friday 8th April. The event offered numerous workshops, talks from industry professionals and the opportunity to network with other crew and recruitment professionals. ACREW is a specialist international event organiser for yacht crews and currently has over 7,000 members, including more than 2,000 captains. It has established a fantastic reputation for offering free workshops, discussion groups and social activities at events in yachts shows, shipyards and marinas. YPI CREW sponsored two workshops over two days: a CV and online profile workshop, headed by Alison Rentoul from The Crew Coach and Jennie Holmes from Generate Solutions, and a talk on how to gain a job on a better boat, also given by Alison Rentoul.
The series of workshops had a focus on Crisis Prevention and Response onboard — a highly relevant subject for captains, crew and management companies. The complimentary daylong event was a great success; dozens of crew members gained valuable advice on how to gain their dream job in the yachting industry and how to stay safe when working. YPI CREW sponsored the two workshops with the hope of sharing fundamental yachting knowledge with hopeful candidates. It wasn't all serious work though, and the seminars were facilitated in a fun environment with lunches and drinks on the agenda to allow participants to relax, socialise and network.
One of the most popular workshops of the day was Thursday's CV-building seminar. The workshop was aimed at "creating a killer CV" — in the words of Alison — a skill that can help crew members be successful in their chosen field of yachting, whichever it may be. The seminar systematically dealt with each necessary section of a yachting CV, which, according to Alison, differs dramatically from a regular CV. From simple layout mistakes to fundamental content errors, writing a CV often provides pitfalls for potential candidates. She also discussed the issue of a CV photograph, sharing insight into what makes the perfect image. Jennie's input in the presentation focused on LinkedIn profiles as a form of online presence, which was equally as valuable to the event's attendees.
Alison Rentoul is a trusted career advisor and leadership coach who has worked with many of the industry's most senior and respected crew and leading brokerage companies. Alison suggests that every level staff can benefit from career coaching, although experienced crew members make up the majority of her private clients. She stated, "If you [...] do your CV properly, [...] then all of a sudden you start getting interviews." The good news is that Alison can also help them do well in the interview, so the investment in her services can seem big but it's worth it to secure a well-paid job, which can quickly return the initial outlay. Alison stated: "you have to know how to play the game; if you're new to the industry, you can make mistakes without realising it."
Kim, an attending crew member from South Africa, said that she found Alison's seminar a real 'eye-opener' and realised that she had written her CV completely wrong. Having come from a hospitality background, she was looking for her first job as a stewardess. She continued, saying that her CV was 'not at all yachting-friendly,' but luckily it was her first day looking for work in Antibes. Meanwhile, Gilbert, a deckhand who left his boring corporate job in search of 'adventure and to build a maritime career,' also thought the seminar gave some interesting tips.
YPI CREW Director, Laurence Lewis, has been working with Alison for years and they have built up a strong professional relationship built on mutual trust and respect. Laurence praised Alison's workshop. With regards to the value of writing a solid CV, she said:
"The CV is a marketing tool, used to establish trust and to get you an interview; but it must be good because recruiters will only look at it for approximately 7-10 seconds!'
Laurence continued, adding the following:
"As the yachting industry's go-to yacht crew agency, YPI CREW is taking training and professional development seriously. It was therefore natural that we felt we should participate in the event and show our support. The event was interesting for newcomers but also for established crew looking for courses to give them added value and enhance their skills."
Yacht Crew Recruitment
Alison sees professional recruitment agencies as becoming increasingly important as a way to 'get candidates in front of the right people.' She continues by highlighting the importance of a trusted name, recognising that 'a lot of agencies don't know the industry well and give bad advice.' She values the services of 'established recruitment agencies, like YPI CREW [who] are really trusted because they know what they are talking about.' She also stresses the importance of building a positive relationship with agencies because they have such a good reputation they "tend to attract the better jobs, better boats and better captains.' Abi Wallace agrees and confirms that "many captains use YPI CREW and are proud of that fact because it is associated with quality.'
Friday's event focused on gaining a position on a better boat — a service that YPI CREW often offers to experiences crew members. A better boat is not necessarily a bigger boat: depending on the personality and capabilities of the yachting professional, a better boat could mean a different owner, captain, crew or even a smaller size.
On the subject of personality, Alison mentioned that crew members sometimes sabotage their own careers via social media faux pas or indiscreet behaviour. This industry is small and 'all about character' so you have to get on with people. She cautions crew members: "You can be the most amazing person on paper, but if you've got a bad reputation, you'll never get hired." Likewise, even though the yachting lifestyle seems friendly and relaxed, you must always dress professionally as appearance is vital. Additionally, Abi Wallace claims that being a good team player is an extremely desirable trait for employers.
Abi Wallace, Managing Partner at ACREW, travels the globe with the yachting seasons, organising crew events; she commented:
"Antibes is definitely one of the hubs for yacht crew recruitment… Working here with YPI CREW is always positive as the company shares ACREW's vision for professionalism and excellence in the quality of all aspects of crew. I'm happy that ACREW can be a vehicle for YPI CREW to deliver knowledge to crews."
YPI CREW encourages crew members and newcomers to the yachting industry to attend these events whenever possible. Seeking good career advice, creating a strong CV, building professional relationships and behaving in an appropriate manner are vital in the yachting industry, whether you are a newcomer or an experienced crew member. After all, these events are free, educational and enjoyable in a way that can only help your professional development. Next time you see one of these pop-up events near you, make sure you make the most of it. In the meantime, YPI CREW has various resources that can assist in your job hunt or contact YPI CREW personally for recruitment advice.