Careers Hub

The British Ports Association is the national membership body for ports in the UK, representing 86% of all UK port traffic. We work hard to promote this thriving industry, both to the public and to government and see our role as essential in advocating not just for the major ports operators but also the key workers that keep our economy afloat. We aim to work towards an equitable, diverse, and transparent ports industry, and provide the secretariat for the Association of Participating Bodies of the Pilots’ National Pension Fund.

The British ports sector plays an essential role in the UK economy. 95% of the UK’s international trade, both imports and exports, pass through the ports and they are essential hubs for the energy and tourism sectors. A major part of that success story is our people; the dedicated individuals who keep our industry running through thick and thin.

The UK ports industry directly employs approximately 115,000 people, and creates additional jobs in logistics, energy, and tourism. However, more than that, the ports sector provides real opportunities for coastal communities and offers excellent career prospects for enthusiastic and talented people from all walks of life.

And not all ports careers require maritime experience. Positions in engineering, finance, and health and safety are just as much in demand as marine pilots, deckhands, and divers. So long as you have the drive to succeed, the ports sector wants you!

Key skills are always in demand, and the industry provides excellent opportunities for development in a practical setting. No matter what your talent, there is a job for you. These are just a few of the positions available in this vibrant and exciting industry.


As with many industries, ports derive much of their income from day-to-day banking, invoicing customers, and other financial works. As such, there are several opportunities for accountants and finance officers in the ports industry. This can range from an Accounts Assistant, who provides clerical and smaller budgetary duties, to the Chief Finance Officer who is responsible for developing control systems designed to preserve assets.


Ports would cease to function without the hard work and experience of engineers. Electrical, mechanical, and apprentices are all essential to the running of ports, and often to excellent career progression within both their discipline and the port operator themselves.


Due to our coastal nature, the ports sector views themselves as custodians of some of the most spectacular and diverse areas of the British coastline. As such, the industry takes this role seriously and positions are open for environmental and sustainability officers. From investigating potential breaches in conduct to coordinating pollution policy, environmental positions form a large part of the social compact between operators and their communities.


Our people are the secret to the port industry’s success and keeping them safe from harm is a top priority. Health and Safety Managers conduct audits, inspections, and guidance for all 115,000 people in the sector and work frequently with our colleagues at Port Skills and Safety to ensure standards are maintained.


Communications is of ever-increasing importance to the ports industry, as we aim to be more than just economic hubs but also drivers of investment in the local community. Public relations and communications managers play a key role in this mission, providing online comms, press releases, and internal publications. There is also the business aspect to consider, and marketing assistants are pivotal in the creation and distribution of market research and company branding.

Much of the ports sector relies on the accrued knowledge of thousands of industry veterans who understand their work inside and out. However, that knowledge is best passed on not through the classroom but by practical, real-world experience that only apprenticeships can offer. There are hundreds of port-based apprenticeship opportunities throughout the UK, providing internationally recognised qualifications and paid positions for everyone from school leavers to career changers.

The ports industry is committed to the principles of equality and diversity, believing that only through embracing different people from different backgrounds can new and successful ideas be allowed to propagate. The sector provides a wide range of jobs, allowing people to work to their strengths while exploring new career paths and possibilities. In recent years, BPA has worked with Maritime UK on their Maritime Careers Hub and Ethnicity in Maritime Initiative to encourage people, regardless of age of demographic, to consider working in a maritime setting. As an island nation, it makes sense.

The following ports industry jobs have been sent to us by our members.

Please download the attached files or click the links to view.

If you are a member and would like us to add a vacancy please contact us.

To find out more about Maritime Careers please click here.

To find out more about Apprenticeships and career pathways click on to the Port Skills and Safety website to find out more.

Harbourmaster/CEO – Teignmouth Port and Harbour

Applicants are sought for the full time post of Harbourmaster/CEO in Teignmouth, South Devon. This is a busy harbour and port which includes mixed leisure, fishing, cargo and other commercial operations.

A full job description, together with background information can be found on our website –
Please apply to Jo Sparks of Teignmouth Harbour Commission at
Your application should include your CV, together with a covering letter that includes your salary expectations (no longer than 2 pages) that describes: –
• The most Challenging problem you have faced in your career and your contribution to its solution.
• A group situation where you had to balance your strongly held views against wider contrary considerations.
• How your experience is relevant to Teignmouth Port and Harbour.
• Your involvement in a collaborative project or activity.
Closing date for applications is 12th July 2024

Deckhand Band 1 – Gosport, Southampton Associated British Ports

We are looking to take on a Deckhand in our Southampton port to take on a multi-skilled marine role primary crewing the Port’s launches as Pilot Launch Deckhand or Southampton Patrol Deckhand.  Assist the Coxswain in meeting the requirements of the Port’s launch service and the statutory duties of the Harbour Authority.

To find out more click here: Deckhand Band 1 – Gosport, Southampton Associated British Ports

Project Engineer – Southampton Associated British Ports

We’re looking to recruit a Project Engineer into a newly created role to cover projects across our Southampton ports, focusing heavily on the Civil Engineering side. Managing projects valued between £50k to £20m, budgeted from both a CAPEX and OPEX perspective you’ll be an experienced Civils Project Manager or Engineer who has worked extensively on infrastructure works. Working on a variety of assets from 150 year old masonry dock walls, road and rail bridges, large portal frame sheds, rail, surfacing and jetties, this role has huge variety.

To find out more click here: Project Engineer – Southampton Associated British Ports

Consents Specialist – Cardiff, Central Associated British Ports

Recently a Group Projects function has been established with consenting expertise that can support the development and delivery of major group projects regardless of location and nature of the project. The Consents and Environment Specialist will add to the team’s internal expertise, allowing the efficient and successful delivery of a strong pipeline of projects that span the land and marine planning regimes. You should be an experienced Town Planner, ideally with (or working towards) MRTPI status, should have some exposure to EIA studies and have exposure to major infrastructure works (ideally Marine focused projects).

To find out more click here: Consents Specialist – Cardiff, Central Associated British Ports

Programme Manager, Future Port Talbot Associated British Ports

Port Talbot has been at the cutting edge of industrial change before, and can be again. That’s because Port Talbot has a central role to play in helping Wales make the shift from the old, carbon-based economy to a new, zero-carbon world. Future Port Talbot is the largest engineering project we’ve undertaken and will transform the region to become a major hub for green energy and sustainability transforming South Wales’ decarbonisation drive.

Driving the Future Port Talbot programme forward is a critical role for ABP and requires a Programme Manager with a breadth of infrastructure development knowledge that can be applied to directing and managing a team of diverse and multi-disciplinary experts, achieving the best outcomes for every element of the programme and driving the programme forward. The role is pivotal in ensuring the various workstreams across Future Port Talbot contribute to the success of the strategic Programme objectives whilst aligning to ABP’s core values and processes.

Find out more click here: Port Talbot Associated British Ports

Port Operative T2 – Immingham, Humber Associated British Ports

We are looking for a port operative to join our team to ensure ABP’s direct operations and agreed customer requirements are met, working in line with; acceptable behavioural safety standards, KPI Targets, environmental compliance, and quality standards. Optimising performance and continually improving the operation.

Click here to view: Port Operative T2 – Immingham, Humber Associated British Ports

Project Engineer Immingham, Humber Associated British Ports

We’re currently looking to recruit an experienced Project Engineer with a strong background of Marine Civil projects up to £20m in value. Managing projects valued between £50k to £20m, budgeted from both a CAPEX and OPEX perspective you’ll be an experienced Civils Project Manager or Engineer who has worked extensively on Marine focused projects such as Jetty Rebuilds, and marine structures.

Click here to find out more: Project Engineer Immingham, Humber Associated British Ports

VTSO Southampton, Associated British Ports

Are you looking for an exciting career opportunity in the maritime industry? Do you have a passion for ensuring the safe and efficient movement of vessels in busy waterways? If so, we have the perfect role for you! We are currently seeking a highly motivated and skilled Vessel Traffic Services Officer to join our dynamic team in Southampton.

ABP is dedicated to managing and coordinating vessel movements in some of the busiest ports and waterways in the UK, and Southampton is no exception. With cutting-edge technology and a strong commitment to safety, we play a critical role in maintaining the smooth flow of maritime traffic and ensuring the protection of the environment.

Click here to view details: VTSO Southampton, Associated British Ports

Procurement Category Specialist Hull, Associated British Ports

We are seeking a highly skilled and motivated Procurement Category Specialist with a focus on Capital Expenditures (CapEx) and Operational Expenditures (Opex). This role is instrumental in driving the strategic sourcing and procurement activities for ABP, ensuring that we achieve cost efficiencies while maintaining the highest quality standards.

This is a group role  but will be Humber based in either Hull or Immingham alongside hybrid working, with a requirement to be in the office 3 days per week.

Click here to view: Procurement Category Specialist Hull, Associated British Ports

Deck Rating Apprentice Cardiff Associated British Ports

  • Application date:
  • Employer:
    Cardiff Associated British Ports

As an apprentice you will be working as directed by the Master / Chief Officer to maintain the vessel and equipment in a safe and serviceable condition, assisting in the safe and effective operation of the vessel whilst learning the roles and responsibilities of a Deck Rating in the Merchant Navy.

Passing this apprenticeship, including the mandatory qualifications and certification required, means the seafarer will be able to work on board any type and size of vessel in any part of the world.

Click here to view: Deck Rating Apprentice Cardiff Associated British Ports

Information Communications Technician Apprentice Southampton Associated British Ports

Job role: Information Communications Technician Apprentice Level 3 Location: Humber Region – Travel between Hull & Immingham

During this apprenticeship you will be learning how deliver customer-centric IT support function across all ABP’s 21 port locations, ensuring consistent and high-quality service.

You will also be contributing to the preparation for new or changed services, operation of the change process, the maintenance of regulatory, legal and professional standards, the building and management of systems and components in virtualised and cloud computing environments and the monitoring of performance of systems and services.

Click here to view: Information Communications Technician Apprentice Southampton Associated British Ports

Contract Manager Lowestoft Associated British Ports

Due to the pending completion of the newly built Gull Wing Bridge in Lowestoft we’re currently looking to recruit an experienced Contracts Manager to manage all contract and cost activities relating to the operation of the bridge. You’ll be responsible for overseeing the delivery of a TSC NEC4 Service Contract, and should have similar experience of this.

The Gull Wing Bridge, along with the Bascule Bridge operate on a 24/7 basis, and we have an operations team who manage the delivery of the opening and closing the bridge, ensuring public and vessel safety, manage vessel tracking and ensure the consistent upkeep. This is a newly created role to manage the contractual elements of this operation and will include overseeing contractor led planned, reactive or unplanned maintenance, the purchase or supply of equipment or plant required for the operation and maintenance of the bridge.

Click here to view : Contract Manager Lowestoft Associated British Ports

Head of HR – Port of London Authority

A fantastic opportunity for a Head of HR to deliver real value to the Port of London by delivering strategic and operational HR policy, projects and interventions.

Working with a team of six people (four direct reports) within a small but very busy Human Resources function the successful candidate will lead the transformation and embedding of the Port of London Authority’s culture by championing values through strong leadership and inspirational behaviour. You will act as part of the organisational leadership team to ensure collective delivery of organisational and Thames Vision objectives.

Click here to view further details: Head of HR – The Port of London Authority

Marine Pilot Under Training – Port of London Authority

Desirable Skills

  • Experience of tug operations (berthing & unberthing)
  • Experience of working aboard a variety of commercial vessels
  • Knowledge of the Port Marine Safety Code
  • Local knowledge of the river Thames

These skills are desirable, however training will be provided for the right candidate

Click here for further details: Marine Pilot Under Training – Port of London Authority

Emergency Planning Officer – Port of London Authority

A rare opportunity has arisen to join the Port of London’s Marine Compliance team providing specialist services in support of the PLA’s core safety functions.

Based at our Head Office in Gravesend overlooking the iconic River Thames the successful candidate will play a key role in safeguarding the river and planning the ports emergency response to marine incidents.

In this role you will be assisting the Marine Compliance Manager by having responsibility for marine emergency planning, which will see you planning and executing emergency exercises along the river Thames, representing the PLA at external forums and events and liaising with key internal and external stakeholders on the development of the PLA’s marine emergency plan.

Click here to view details: Emergency Planning Officer – Port of London Authority

Graduate Assistant Hydrographic Surveyor Harwich Haven Authority

At Harwich Haven Authority we are proud to protect, conserve and enhance the Haven for future generations. To support this vision, we are seeking an Assistant Hydrographic Surveyor to join our Harbour Engineering department.

As our Assistant Hydrographic Surveyor, you will embark on a comprehensive, tailored training programme that blends on-the-job experience with professional development courses, ensuring you gain the skills and knowledge needed to excel.

Click here to view: Graduate Assistant Hydrographic Surveyor Harwich Haven Authority


Marine Pilot – Fenland District Council

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Wisbech Port Authority team within Fenland District Council as a Marine Pilot on a 2-year fixed term contract.

The role requires the successful candidate to have current proven ship handling experience within the last 12 months. The core role is to take responsibility for the safe manoeuvring of a variety of commercial vessels along the port limits of Wisbech and Port Sutton Bridge or within the local pilotage district- any time during the night or day complying with all current legislation including being available for immediate call out, when rostered on duty.

Contract: 2-year Fixed Term Contract
Salary during training: £43,421 to £48,474
Salary: £49,421 to £56,018 once fully qualified.

+ Car allowance £5,083.00. once fully authorised.
+ LGSS Pension scheme
+ 26 Days Holiday + Bank holidays


Harbour Master – Fraserburgh Harbour

Fraserburgh Harbour is a forward thinking, diverse and dynamic organisation dedicated to the growth and management of a successful port in the North East of Scotland.

As Harbour Master, you will oversee all marine operations and ensure strict adherence to operational, legislative, Port Marine Safety Code, and other relevant requirements governing the Harbour Authority.

Port Environmental Lead Officer – Portsmouth International Port

Portsmouth International Port is seeking an enthusiastic, forward thinking Port Environmental Lead Officer to support its innovative, green ambitions. Recently the Port secured over £20m in government funding to deliver one the country’s most ambitious shore power projects, known as Sea Change, which will be a game-changer for the industry.

The successful candidate will play a significant role in the Sea Change project and be a major influence on the Port’s future sustainability plans to become net carbon neutral by 2030, and its long-term ambition to be the UK’s first emission free port in line with the government’s Maritime 2050 plan.

If you have any questions, or would like an informal discussion about the role, please call Mr Steve Watkyns, Technical Director, 02392 855907.

When completing the application form, please thoroughly tailor your application to the ‘Who is the Person’ points with the use of examples from your experience and attach this as a cover letter in the Supporting Documents section. This is really important or you are likely not to be shortlisted. Please ensure your C.V. is tailored to the role following the advice above. And that it includes include your full work history, explaining any gaps and includes employers name and address. Please click HERE for the full job profile!

Click here to apply