They may feel all at sea when they arrive, but thanks to a one charity, unemployed youngsters can quickly learn life skills on board a barge.

Topsail Charters, based in the Hythe Quay, Maldon, are offering dedicated programmes to those struggling to find work, in turn removing the barriers to employment.

In the first four-week ‘Change Direction’ course, led by youth charity UKSA and funded by Job Centre Plus, 19-year-old Luke Last has begun preparing for work through maritime and watersport activities.

This week, Luke, who has not had a job for two years, has assisted with the new sailing season by painting the barges and helping with general rigging maintenance.

See this week's Standard for the full story.