Foxhangers Canal Holidays have been delighting customers since 1997 with our beautiful fleet of narrowboats and exciting holiday adventures.

Based on the stunning, historic, Kennet and Avon canal near Devizes, Wiltshire, as part of our commitment to long-term futures in boating we are looking to recruit a Trainee Boatyard Engineer that will help continue our evolution of boating experiences for everyone.


Working in our Operations Department the Trainee Boatyard Engineer is a varied and interesting role with a focus on inspecting and maintaining propulsion systems, engines, pumps, and other pieces of technical equipment that make boats and other maritime vessels function effectively.  Typically working outside or on boats there are covered work areas and workshops for specific engineering or maintenance functions.  You will be required to be involved with all practical hands-on tasks associated with a busy canal boat business.

Key Responsibilities of the Job:

  • Assisting the Marine Engineers and Boat Builders
  • Hire fleet turnarounds
  • Hull maintenance slipway/docking works to take vessels out of the water
  • Following precise technical documents
  • Share “on-call” responsibility as part of engineering team
  • Preparing and painting narrowboat boat steelwork, engine rooms and lockers
  • Keeping the premises tidy and well presented

The role requires someone with a strong work ethic and basic level of practical skills.  The role encompasses several areas of the Foxhangers’ operation and is vitally important in helping to ensure our boats provide unrivalled boating experiences that are enjoyed by our customers as well as supporting a happy and positive environment to work in.

The Engineering department is focussed on the basic maintenance of our holiday hire boat fleet and privately owned canal boats.  The role will also involve assisting our boat building team as well as general site maintenance.  Given the varied nature of the role, a flexible can-do attitude is essential.

Personal Specification

What skills and abilities do I need to already have?  An interest in fixing rather than throwing away, someone who is not scared to take things apart and figure out how it works, with a view of putting it back together again (working where possible!).

Use of hand tools ranging from spanners and sockets, to drills and power tools. An understanding of basic electrical and mechanical principles taught at GCSE Physics would be advantageous, for example: electromagnets, current flow, ohms law, mechanisms, force, mass etc.

What skills should I be keen to develop?  Electrical and mechanical knowledge, hydraulic principles, safety standards, fault finding and diagnosis skills.

What qualifications or experience do I need to already have?  Basic level of fault diagnosis, examples could include push bike repair, computer repair, household appliance repair etc.

Grade A-C or Grade 9-4 in Maths, English, and Science GCSE (or equivalent).

What qualifications or experience would potentially help me more?

  • An interest or connection to the waterways network.
  • Grade A-C (or equivalent) in Physics would demonstrate a basic understanding of electrical and mechanical principles.
  • Any other Mechanical and/or Electrical Experience, potentially through hobbies, work experience or volunteering.

The standard working hours are 40 per week working five 8-hour days (08:30-17:00) with a half hour break for lunch.

During the period mid-March to end November this will include working some Saturdays on a rota.

On occasions, you will be required to start work earlier or finish later to fit in with the demands of the business.


  • Immediate start available for the right candidate
  • Pension Scheme
  • 28 days holiday (including bank holidays)
  • A beautiful working environment right on the Kennet and Avon Canal
  • The chance to be part of a passionate team
  • Free onsite parking


Job Type: Permanent, all year round

Salary: £18-24k per annum

If you think this could be the opportunity for you, please write to us telling us how your qualifications, skills, and experience make you suited to this position, be sure to mention your earliest availability and whether you would need to work any notice to any current employer. Please also enclose a full employment history CV.
We look forward to hearing from you.

Applications to: