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.

  • ACCOUNTING and FINANCE

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.

  • ENGINEERING

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.

  • ENVIRONMENTAL

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.

  • HEALTH & SAFETY

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

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.

Assistant Harbour Master – Port of Lancaster

  • Application date:
  • Employer:
    Port of Lancaster

The Port of Lancaster (Glasson Dock) has a vacancy for an Assistant Harbour Master, this is an exciting opportunity for the right candidate.

Assist the Harbour Master, Supervise and Carry out multiple functions across the  Port of Lancaster  in support of the Ports Safety & Marine management responsibilities.

Trainee Marine Pilot – Harwich Haven Authority

We have an exciting opportunity to join one of the UK’s largest trust ports and join our world-class pilotage team as a Trainee Marine Pilot.

Working closely with the five Haven ports, Port of Felixstowe, Port of Ipswich, Harwich International Port, Harwich Navyard, and Mistley, our pilots also work with the Port of Great Oakley ensuring their ships are brought in safely too. This brings a variety of different vessels trading to different ports within our area of jurisdiction, ensuring that no two days are ever the same.

Job description and person specification – View

Our values – View

View Video here

 

Non-Executive Directors – Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) Board

Scottish Ministers are looking to appoint two new Non-Executive Directors to the Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) Board .CMAL owns the ferries, most of the ports and harbours, the Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd brand and the infrastructure necessary for vital lifeline ferry services serving is land and remote communities in Scotland. It is wholly owned by the Scottish Government with Scottish Ministers the sole shareholder. The CMAL Board has an executive management team and supporting staff at headquarters in Port Glasgow. The Board currently comprises of four Non-Executive Directors (including the Chair) plus four Executive Directors (including the Chief Executive). CMAL aims to provide efficient, cost-effective and safe ferries, harbours and port infrastructure for operators, communities and users in and around Scotland

Independent Member on the Council’s Harbour Management Committee – Bristol City Harbour

  • Application date:
  • Employer:
    Bristol City Harbour

Bristol City Council has a statutory responsibility for management of Bristol harbour.  As of May 2024, the governance model of Bristol City Council has moved to a committee system. As agreed by Full Council, a Harbour Management Committee (HMC) will be established to continue effective management of the harbour. This is in line with best practice as outlined in the Ports Good Governance Guidance.

The Harbour Management Committee will consist of 5 Elected Members (Councillors) and 4 Independent Members. The council is seeking applications from interested persons for the positions of Independent Member to sit on this committee.

Harbour Master – Lymington Harbour

  • Application date:
  • Employer:
    Lymington Harbour Commissioners

This position involves leading a small marine team in overseeing marine operations services. Reporting directly to the CEO, responsibilities include managing the Port Safety Management System, ensuring compliance with regulations, overseeing the Operations Manager and the team, and supporting the CEO in project delivery. The ideal candidate should possess or be willing to pursue a UK Harbour Master Certificate, hold relevant MCA qualifications, have leadership experience in a marine setting, be familiar with the PMSC Code, adept in risk assessment, and knowledgeable about environmental management in marine contexts. Benefits include a competitive salary, 25 days of annual leave, a generous pension scheme, a discretionary bonus scheme, and participation in a salary sacrifice Electric Vehicle scheme.

Harbour Master – Haventus – Ardersier Port

As we prepare for our expected port opening in summer 2025, the Harbour Master will play a pivotal role in leading the team to ensure our preparation and port operations are of an exceptional standard. The role holder will take a strategic approach when coordinating with port stakeholders, government agencies and maritime organisations to uphold the port’s reputation as a reliable and safe energy transition port.
The Harbour Master will be a maritime expert, responsible for leading the Marine team in effective management of vessel traffic, ensuring navigational safety and implementing port security measures, whilst overseeing all aspects of port operations, safety and regulatory compliance.

 

Click links for further details