Our website uses cookies so that we can provide a better service. Continue to use the site as normal if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies.


First Management Trainee secures port position

Nick Evans and Barry Goldman

Nick Evans (left) with PLA VTS Manager 
Barry Goldman
(click on image to enlarge)

The first Port of London Authority (PLA) management scheme trainee has successfully completed the three-year course and secured a job within the organisation - six months ahead of schedule.

Nick Evans (27), from Chatham, who was the first recruit for the PLA's new 'Marine Trainee' scheme, was due to graduate this month. In the spring, however, he was appointed as a Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) Operator and is now on the first rung of the ladder within the PLA's Marine Management structure.

Julian Parkes, the PLA's Harbour Master (Safety Management System) developed and manages the scheme.  He said:

"We are delighted at Nick's appointment. He had already successfully completed his specialised training in key areas of PLA and other port activity, which included VTS, so when the vacancy arose he was one of a number of applicants, and did very well in securing the job."

The Marine Trainee Scheme, which replaces the PLA's earlier marine apprentice programme, is designed to develop the wide range of marine skills needed on the Thames in the 21st century as well as developing potential future marine managers.

Nick completed an intensive two-year training programme, which cumulated in examination for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency's Boatmaster's Licence.  Candidates gain wide-ranging experience on PLA and other service and commercial vessels, focusing on practical navigation, marine skills and port operations. The final third year involves more specialised training including harbour master activities, pilotage, vessel traffic services work, and operational support.

"Trainees work all along the 95 mile length of the tidal Thames - from Teddington in west London, through central London and out to the Thames Estuary and training is carried out on different types and sizes of vessel.  This ensures that at the end of the course, graduates have a practical national marine qualification, a thorough understanding and knowledge of the PLA, the Port of London and the tidal River Thames," concluded Julian Parkes.

A second trainee, Sarah Kember, is currently undertaking her first year of training and the PLA hopes to recruit a third trainee towards the end of 2010, if the level of trade in the Port allows.

Notes to Editors:

  • The Port of London Authority (PLA) is responsible for navigational safety and related matters on 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington in west London
  • The PLA provides navigational, pilotage and other services for users of the Thames.
  • London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year.
  • The Port comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities at different locations on the Thames. These handle a wide range of cargoes.
  • London also has a busy passenger boat trade for tourists and commuters and is a popular destination for international passenger cruise ships.