Careers & Training


This is a thriving area of the commercial marine industry, offering a wide variety of job and career opportunities.  On this page you can discover what’s on offer in the UK’s ports and harbours. Follow these links to find out about becoming a Harbour Master or a Maritime Pilot

Ports and harbours in the UK directly employ around 115,000 people across a wide range of roles including harbourmasters, hydrographic surveyors, marine pilots, engineers, data analysts, cyber security specialists and many more. There are also the roles you would find in any office in finance, IT, marketing, human resources, training, health and safety, sustainability, etc. 

Ports provide landside hubs for the country’s trade, energy, and fuel supplies, and are important hubs for coastal recreation, tourism, and other maritime activities like marine engineering, shipping services, and fishing.
Qualifications and Training

In many of the practical roles, such as stevedore or marine/ port operative, no formal educational qualifications are required although GCSEs or equivalent in English, maths and science are always useful. 

You could start by doing a port operative intermediate apprenticeship. This apprenticeship typically takes 12 months to complete.

NVQs are available in port operations and the supervision of port operations at levels 2 and 3 respectively. 

Port and Skills Safety Limited is working on several training and qualification routes. More apprenticeships and a foundation degree will be available in the future. 

For jobs on the commercial and administration side, you may need GCSEs, A levels, or equivalent qualifications. Large companies offer graduate management training schemes. 

The technical management of port facilities is usually carried out by people with some experience at sea, or with engineering qualifications and training.

Salary Brackets

 £16,000 - £27,000 (Source: UK Gov website)


Ports and Skills Safety



To work in ports you need:
• to be very safety-conscious
• teamworking and communication skills
• to be fit and healthy – some jobs require heavy lifting
• to be prepared to work irregular hours in some jobs
• language skills for some jobs.

Stevedores must have a driving licence. 

In the UK (and some other countries), regulations mean that no one under the age of 18 is allowed to operate certain machinery, including some lifting appliances. So, for certain jobs, such as stevedoring, entry is from the age of 18.


Intermediate apprenticeships Advanced apprenticeships Higher apprenticeships Degree apprenticeships
Intermediate apprenticeships are the entry-level apprenticeship for those looking to make a start in the world of work. Available to anyone from the age of 16, with no maximum age limit, they’re also a great option for anyone looking to make a career change. You’ll need five GCSEs grade A*-E/ 3-9 including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role, or two National 4s including Maths and English (or equivalent). You can apply for an advanced apprenticeship if you have five GCSEs or National 4 (or equivalent), including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role, or you’ve completed an intermediate apprenticeship or similar Level 2 qualification. They’re full-time roles, with a competitive salary and they’re a great way to develop specialist skills. Higher apprenticeships are available to anyone over the age of 18 who is looking for an alternative to attending university. You’ll need at least five GCSEs or National 5 + Highers (or equivalent) including Maths and English, as well as a Science subject to apply for an engineering or technical role. Additionally, you’ll require a minimum of two A levels or a level 3 equivalent qualification. Degree apprenticeships are great for 18–19-year-old school leavers looking to gain a degree while also starting their career journey. It’s the perfect option for those who can’t decide between an apprenticeship and university. They’re also a great option for anyone looking to make a career change.



Contact: Zara Watson
Address: Earlstrees Court, Earlstrees Road
City: Corby
County: Northamptonshire
Postcode: NN17 4AX
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 1536 740 121


United Kingdom


United Kingdom




United Kingdom

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