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Maritime minister John Hayes pushes boat out for more Port of London apprentices

PUBLISHED: 15:08 09 March 2017

Marine Minister John Hayes addresses Thames Academy's  Apprenrice Day at Tower Hill [picture: Matthew Joseph/PLA]

Marine Minister John Hayes addresses Thames Academy's Apprenrice Day at Tower Hill [picture: Matthew Joseph/PLA]

Matthew Joseph

The government is urging school-leavers to try a career on the Thames in a new campaign to create more apprenticeships.

Maritime Minister John Hayes marked National Apprenticeship Week by addressing the Thames Skills Academy’s careers day which drew 100 youngsters to the event in Trinity House at Tower Hill on Tuesday.

“We need to attract a new generation to maintain Britain’s strong position in the global maritime sector,” he told the careers event.

“Apprenticeships chart a course to success, with trainee roles on the Thames that provide real career opportunities.”

The event brought employers and training organisations face-to-face informally with school-leavers and jobseekers as part of the campaign for more apprenticeships, working afloat and ashore in Port of London passenger and freight services.

The Thames Academy, set up last year, now has 16 companies who between them employ seven out of 10 people working on the Thames.

Its chief executive, Julian Parkes, told the East London Advertiser: “We took the opportunity to re-focus students’ attention on ports and inland waterways, to promote a sometimes forgotten sector of employment.”

The academy is an employer-led training association with on-the-job and classroom support aimed at increasing skills in the maritime industry, started by the four founding organisations, Port of London Authority, Company of Watermen & Lightermen, Transport for London and Tideway construction. Its aim is to raise skills and competency standards of those working on inland waterways and the Port of London.

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