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Working in port

As you'll see in the 'at work in a port' section, the jobs in a port are many and varied. Some of them will require specific qualifications or experience. There are usually a number of employers in a port, and whom you approach depends on what you want to do.

The company or body that owns the port employ administrative staff and also staff to organise the coming and going of ships. Try their website for contact details, for example: Associated British Ports [www.abports.co.uk].

Customs and excise officers are employed by a government department [www.hmce.gov.uk].

Private companies usually provide many of the services in a port, including stevedoring, shipbroking services and agencies for ships. Check your local trade directories for their names and addresses.

Shipbuilding and repairing is confined to a few areas of the UK, for instance, Appledore, Falmouth, Tyneside and Clydeside. Shipyards usually require particular skills, although some will offer training schemes. Check your local trade directories for their names and addresses.

Several shore-based jobs rely on prior experience of seafaring, while others find it useful. Many more are related to the business of shipping and trade, from marine law to shipbroking to insurance. Even with a merchant fleet in the 21st century much smaller than before, all the industries and professions connected to shipping make up a very important part of Britain's economy. Maritime Britain, as this is called, contributes £1.5bn - £2bn to the balance of trade in addition to the £2bn from shipping itself, according to the Chamber of Shipping [www.british-shipping.org/maritime].


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