Young Leader Development Programme

About the Young Leader Development Programme

The Young Leader Development Programmes (YLDP) is a chance for young people to develop their leadership skills, take part in more adventurous sailing, and to volunteer in the community and on our boats.

YLDP harnesses the enthusiasm and talent of twelve past crew members. Spending 12 days on board, young people take on a Challenge voyage, getting the chance to sail further afield to some exciting and often remote places. The programme is designed to develop their leadership skills, provide further hard and soft-skills training, and training to become Bosuns and Watch Leaders.

Afterwards, the YLDP participants will work with a local community group and apply their new life skills ashore and they will support hundreds more young people in their adventures under sail as  volunteer Sea Staff aboard OYT Scotland vessels.

Take a look back at a previous voyage to Norway;

Previous YLDP participants have said;

Finn (16) said “The YLDP has helped me to build up confidence because after the challenge I can now do things that I was not able to do before. For example I had not been away from home on such a long trip on my own – I now feel confident to do this again with people I haven’t met before. I learnt some leadership skills that I have been able to use at Port Edgar where I have been helping out with sailing and outward bound courses”.

His mum Sue comments that “Prior to YLDP he didn’t really know what direction he would like to do after leaving school, the course has allowed him to see a new direction in life and a career!”.


Sophie (18) has gained employment as a direct result of taking part in the programme and gaining new qualifications, she notes “YLDP has definitely improved my job prospects – not only does it look great on my CV, I have landed a job with the Gordonstoun International Summer School and am working as a Mate aboard their yachts this summer. It has also helped me get a job working as a student ambassador with a travel company.”


Ellis (17), an apprentice filmaker, captured over 100 hours of footage and produced a suite of short films which can be viewed here. Ellis comments on his experience of YLDP “I went on the boat with little to no sailing experience and by the end of it I was leading various sail changes and other deck activities. It was amazing to see how quickly I picked up the skills. Emotionally my biggest change was that I now feel better about life, some of the things we saw truly were awesome and put everything into a lot more perspective. When I got home I stopped worrying about the little things as I knew there are more important things out there. The YLDP has definitely built my confidence too. Being thrown into a challenge like that with meeting lots of new people forces you to be confident in order to achieve what we set out to do.”


Jamie (20) comments on his experience “I really learnt to respect the volunteers who gave up their time to help us learn the ropes. I’d like to say a huge thanks to all volunteers.. this has really inspired me to volunteer myself and give something back.” He tells us that “In secondary school I was quite challenging, my behaviour wasn’t the best. I wasn’t very academic either, because my behaviour got in the way. It was always a constant struggle. Trying to make new friends was a real difficulty because of my behaviour. So I was a little less confident about going on that boat and try and engage with 18 people.” Since sailing with OYT Scotland, Jamie has gone on to train as a youth leader and studied community development at university. He is well equipped to help others starting out on their own learning journey.


Keep an eye out for details about the 2019 Young Leaders Development Programme towards the end of 2018!


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Ocean Youth Trust Scotland
Victoria House, 5 East Blackhall Street, Greenock, PA15 1HD
Tel: +44 (0) 1475 722 722

Registered Charity, No. SC029531