PILOT SCHEME: Nick learns the ropes on the Thames as port authority’s first trainee in new scheme
Twenty-five-year-old Nick Evans from Chatham is the first recruit for the Port of London Authority’s (PLA) new Marine Trainee scheme which is responsible for safety and other key matters on the Thames from the sea through to Teddington. The new scheme at the PLA in Gravesend not only develops the wide range of marine skills needed on the Thames in the 21st century but also aims to develop potential future marine managers. Nick has started the first stage of the three-year training course, the first two years of which are 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 including harbour master activities, pilotage, port control centre work and operational support. During this time, he will work all along the 95 miles of tidal Thames from Teddington in west London, through central London and out to the Thames Estuary. At the end of his training, which will also include a period at college, Nick will not only have a practical marine qualification but also a wide understanding and knowledge of the PLA, the Thames and the Port of London. “We are very pleased that Nick has joined us as our first new Marine Trainee and he has already made an excellent start,” said Julian Parkes, who helped developed the new PLA marine trainee scheme.” The Port of London Authority is responsible for navigational safety and related matters 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 which handle a wide range of cargoes.
Nick Evans is the new trainee at the Port of London Authority in Gravesend