THE Port of Tilbury, London’s major port, has launched a new apprenticeship programme this month on the back of a successful year for its onsite training academy. The Port, which has a long and proud tradition of investing in apprenticeships to ensure a highly skilled workforce for the future, has ambitious plans to employ more apprentices and offer more skills training for young people in the Thames gateway area.
With over 50 apprentices, both male and female, directly or indirectly employed working across the port, undertaking apprenticeship programmes over the last 18 months, The Port of Tilbury is delivering on its commitment to employing apprentices.
This commitment is on-going, with the port recruiting 9 more apprentices for a new two-year Conventional Operative Apprenticeship programme, commencing in October and an additional two new students about to commence an advanced apprenticeship in Business Administration.
The apprentices, from diverse backgrounds, are trained at the Port of Tilbury Training Academy, which opened in 2014 and is dedicated to the delivery of ports and logistics skills, education and training for the Port, its tenants and anyone in the community. With 65% of the Ports workforce living in the local community and a strong record of support for a broad range of community initiatives, one of the main priorities of the new Training Academy is to work closely with the community in relation to education, training and skills.
Commenting on the Port of Tilbury Training Academy, Perry Glading, Forth Ports Chief Operating Officer said: “Forth Ports is fully committed to investing in apprenticeships across the group. Having a strong apprentice training programme is vital to the future success of The Port of Tilbury and our other ports across the UK. The importance of finding talented young individuals from the community and developing their skills so they can take our business forward in the future can’t be underestimated.
With over 50 apprentices directly or indirectly employed working across the port of Tilbury, undertaking apprenticeships and/or apprenticeship qualifications over the last 18 months, Tilbury can be justifiably proud of its demonstrable commitment to apprenticeships.”
Simon Harper, Training and Development Manager at the Port of Tilbury Training Academy said: “Through our work with local schools and colleges, it became clear that that young people from all across the community, from different backgrounds and genders needed support in making the transition from full-time education to the workplace, and assistance in improving their long-term employment prospects and aspiration. The port is not only building bright futures for both trainees and apprentices but is also playing an important role in boosting the local economy by providing continued employment opportunities to young people in the Thurrock area.”
Across the Forth Ports group, there are other well established, successful apprenticeship programmes. In Scotland there is the Engineering Apprenticeship for both electrical and mechanical training. Other qualifications include the SVQ Stevedoring VQ level 2, where 119 port operators have successfully completed this with 2 further port operators due to complete shortly. The New Modern Apprenticeship VQ Port Operations qualification has 21 operators registered and all, except 4 have started their Modern Apprenticeship. In addition, 18 employees have completed a Level 4 SVQ.
In Scotland, Forth Ports has recently launched its first Modern Apprentice Programme working in partnership with SQA (Scottish Qualifications Board), Port Skills & Safety and Unite the Union and RMT trade unions. The new programme has been approved by the Modern Apprenticeship Group (MAG) and more significantly, is the first approval of a modern apprenticeship programme for a Port Operator in the UK. Forth Port’s Modern Apprenticeship programme – the Maritime Occupations SCQF Level 5 framework Additional Pathway – will provide the opportunity for individuals, aged 18 or over, to get first class training and mentoring from the business whilst gaining a professional qualification through tailored learning and development.