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New trainee learns modern port management skills

A new trainee has joined the Port of London Authority (PLA) as the first person to embark upon a new management training scheme for the organisation, which is responsible for safety and other key matters on the Thames from the sea through to Teddington.

Nick Evans, aged 25, is the first recruit for the PLA’s new ‘Marine Trainee’ scheme. The approach is different from the earlier PLA marine apprentice programme. The new scheme not only develops the wide range of marine skills needed on the Thames in the twenty first century but also aims to develop potential future marine managers.

Nick EvansNick, who currently lives in Chatham, has now started the first stage of the three-year training course. The first two years will see him complete an intensive two-year training programme on PLA craft in navigation skills, marine and port operations. The final third year will involve more specialised training in key areas of PLA activity. This includes harbour master activities, pilotage, port control centre work, and operational support.

During this time, he will 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. It is planned that his training will include time spent on different types and sizes of vessel.


At the end of his training, which will also include a period at college, Nick will have a practical marine qualification. He will also have a wide understanding and knowledge of the PLA, the Thames and the Port of London. The River Thames is used by a very wide diversity of different vessels – from cargo ships of all sizes through passenger boats to very small recreational craft.

Julian Parkes who helped develop the new PLA marine trainee scheme said:

"We are very pleased that Nick has joined us as our first new Marine Trainee. He has already made an excellent start. This is a modern and practical marine training scheme which is intended to provide some future managers for the PLA in the longer term. The aim is to develop staff to achieve the specialised skills needed by the PLA to keep traffic on the Thames running smoothly and safely in the years ahead."

Contact: Martin Garside, Port of London Authority. Tel: 01474 562366. Email: Martin Garside 

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.
  • The tidal Thames is also used widely by those with small recreational craft of many types.

A photograph of Nick Evans is available on request from Martin Garside, PLA. Tel: 01474 562366. Email: Martin Garside