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.


Teenagers take a marine route into work as minister calls for more apprentices

Two Kent teenagers – who say it’s their life’s ambition to work in the marine industry – have embarked on apprenticeships at the Port of London Authority (PLA).

Rosie Arrowsmith and Daniel Easter are embarking on their careers with the PLA as shipping minister, John Hayes MP, called on employers to add more apprentices to their ranks. Mr Hayes was speaking as London International Shipping Week kicked off this Monday (11th September).

Rosie, 16, from Crayford, will do extensive on-the-job training in marine engineering (mechanical), while 17-year-old Daniel from Gravesend has taken on a role in the electrical side of marine engineering.

The Kent candidates impressed PLA bosses after spells of work experience at their Denton base – and stood out among the hundreds of applications received for the apprenticeships which were advertised on social media and promoted in a special open day.

New recruits Rosie and Daniel will work alongside experienced staff, gaining job-specific skills to help them map out a career. They’ll get a salary, time out of work for study and training related to their roles.

As well as being an air cadet for three years and volunteering with St John Ambulance, Rosie is also a part-time dinghy instructor and keen rugby player. She is currently studying for a BTEC in Aviation.

She said: “It’s been my dream to work in the marine industry for a long time. I’m sure my time at the PLA will help add to my skills, knowledge and experience. I’d love to improve my leadership skills too and hopefully become a better instructor.”

Former Gravesend Grammar School pupil Daniel is also fascinated by dinghy sailing and is keen on boat repair and maintenance. He did work experience at the PLA last year.

“I loved doing work experience at the PLA as it’s the ideal environment to learn new skills about engineering from people with a lot of experience. Securing an apprenticeship here gives me the ideal opportunity to realise my long-term career goals and maybe one day I’ll fulfil my ultimate dream – to own my own boat.”

Two further apprentices will join the PLA next month, working as deckhands on vessels including harbour launches that patrol the Thames.

PLA director of HR, Glenn Witham, explained: “We’ve got a strong tradition of investing in apprenticeships at the PLA. In the last four years we’ve seen apprentices train successful and secure permanent roles with us in building trades and engineering. With the river getting busier, this year’s we’re investing in our future boat crews too.”

– ends –