ABP - Associated British Ports Holdings Ltd.

06/11/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/11/2024 05:49

Associated British Ports shines a light on Women in Maritime across the Humber Ports

Women in Maritime across the Humber Ports.

Associated British Ports (ABP) marked International Women in Maritime Day by speaking to some of the women playing key roles across the Humber keeping the UK's biggest gateway trading. The conversations highlighted that port jobs are open to all, offering varied and fulfilling careers.

Since 2018, ABP has been at the forefront of the ports sector's efforts to boost diversity, for example playing a pivotal role in the launch of the Women in Maritime Charter in collaboration with Maritime UK.

In addition to gender equality ABP's wider, employee-led, diversity networks are instrumental, raising awareness of key issues, encouraging open dialogue, and bringing forth innovative ideas and solutions. These efforts contribute significantly to ABP's mission of being a diverse, inclusive, and welcoming organisation.

If you are interested in finding out more about the opportunities available at ABP and join a team where you can be yourself at work every day, check out our latest job vacancies: https://careers.abports.co.uk/.

Karolina Jabrzyk, Humber Pilot 1st Class

How long have you been a Humber Pilot for and what did you do before joining ABP?

I have been a Humber Pilot for six years now. Before joining ABP I worked on a variety of vessels including RoRo, passenger, reefer vessels, bulk carriers, and containers with a Master ticket.

What is involved?

Every day is different on the Humber. We safety navigate vessels within the Humber Pilotage Area. Adverse weather can create some of the most challenging conditions to work in, especially when boarding a vessel using its pilot ladder. Dealing with ship traffic and coordinating with the ships master and crew to manoeuvre their ship safety into a lock, and onto berths also present different challenges every day, but on the other hand the role of Humber Pilot is very fulling and brings me great joy. Whilst working at ABP I have been promoted to a 1st Class pilot meaning I can work on ships up to 11m draft and up to 40000 DWT.

Why did you decide to become a Humber Pilot?

When working at sea I was often away from home for long time meaning I could not spend as much time with my family as I would have liked. I wanted to change something and be able to come home every day but still work with ships. Piloting gave me both, so it was the perfect solution. I also wanted to try something else in my career.

What do you enjoy most about being a Humber Pilot?

I enjoy being on the water, meeting and talking with people from various nationalities. I'm also always learning and gaining new experiences every day.

Why should women consider a career in the maritime industry?

Maritime careers for women have developed quickly in the last few years. More women are now at sea than ever before and there are more reaching the rank of is ship's captain too. We can do this job and it is great to see more women in marine roles. ABP gave me this opportunity to work as pilot which has been brilliant and allowed me to find the work life balance I was looking for.

Fiona Jolley, Vessel Traffic Service Operator

How long have you been a Vessel Traffic Service Operator (VTSO) and what did you do before joining ABP?

I have been working at ABP since 2018 and I manage the safe and efficient movement of vessel traffic on the Humber, alongside another VTSO and an Assistant Harbour Master. We are the first point of contact for any emergencies that occur on the river, and we are also responsible for planning and organising pilot transfers.

What did you do before working as a VTSO?

I started as a Deck Officer Cadet on bulk carriers and combination chemical carriers and stayed there until I became 2nd Officer. I then moved to cruise ships and remained there up to the rank of Chief Officer. I came ashore as a Pier Master at Saltend. I then moved to VTS in 2019, as a VTS Operator.

Whatareas of your role do you enjoy the most, and what kind of challenges are there?

I like the team that I work with, everyone is really supportive, and we all work well together. There are lots of variables involved in managing traffic on a complex river, and no two scenarios are the same, which is probably the biggest challenge of the role. There is a real sense of accomplishment dealing with those challenges.

What would you say to those considering a career in the maritime industry?

If you are interested in pursuing a maritime career a cadetship is probably the best place to start, but a marine apprenticeship is another great way to get into the industry.

My best advice would be to do lots of research in deciding who to do your apprenticeship or cadetship with, as you will gain different experience with different companies, and therefore, have different career opportunities in the future.

Nicola Appleby, Marine Information Officer

How long have you been a Marine Information Officer and what did you do before joining ABP?

I'm a Marine Information Officer in the Data Centre, working from the Humber Marine Control Centre in Grimsby. I joined ABP at the end of August 2023, after wanting a complete change of career and a new challenge.

The role supports VTS and assists with the River Humber vessel traffic and pilot logistics. We work closely with agent's and receive their online notifications for most vessels arriving and departing on the Humber. This information is then inputted into PAVIS (Port and Vessel Information System), which then allows us to create a pilot order if required. We then ensure the timely allocation of pilots to vessels, with the efficient use of transportation to achieve this. We also assist in emergencies and incidents, as required, by the Assistant Harbour Master.

Before this role, I was a primary school teacher and prior to that a police officer.

What do you enjoy most about the role and what advice would you give to those considering a career in the maritime industry?

I really like meeting new people and thoroughly enjoy working as part of a team. Having the ability to work under pressure, is important when working as a Marine Information Officer.

A career within maritime is a great industry to work in. The industry has such a diverse range of roles, that there's something out there to suit all skillsets.

Samantha Hammond, Marine Operations Apprentice

What were do you doing before starting your apprenticeship?

Before starting the apprenticeship, I was a stay-at-home parent to my three children. Before this I worked in engineering for 10 years as an Instrumentation Technician at Novartis.

What encouraged you to apply for a Marine Apprenticeship with ABP?

I saw an advert for a Vessel Traffic Service Operator back in 2021, but didn't have the right qualifications at the time, so I applied for the apprenticeship when it came up a few months later. I wanted a change of career from engineering and the apprenticeship would give me a good knowledge and qualifications to be able to change career. A retired Assistant Harbour Master was kind enough to give me a tour of Immingham and Grimsby control towers too which confirmed I had made the right decision.

Could you tell us how the apprenticeship works and some of your favourite experiences so far?

The apprenticeship is (up to) three-years, with ten months college based studies at South Shields Marine school where you gain an Advanced Certificate in Nautical Science and a lot of other courses. The rest is training and familiarisation around the Humber Ports. There is an end point assessment at the end which I am currently preparing to undertake.

I have enjoyed all the placements around the Humber and meeting many people over the last 18 months. Some of the placements include berthing vessels in Immingham and Hull docks, surveying out on the river, embarking and disembarking pilots with the launch crew, engineering with the Marine Engineering Support Unit, Vessel Traffic Services, the Data Centre and many more.

I am currently pursuing my VTSO training as some of my favourite aspects of the college courses are part of daily life as a VTSO, it is a challenge every day as no two days are the same.

What have you enjoyed the most about your apprenticeship so far?

I have really enjoyed putting the knowledge I acquired at college into practice on the Humber, and learning about how all the departments work together to make the river run as efficiently as possible.

What would you say to others considering a career in the maritime industry?

For anyone wishing to enter or change to a career to the maritime industry I would thoroughly recommend it. There are lots of women who work in marine based roles across the Humber and everyone is very welcoming.

Rachael Hope Humber Pilot 2nd Class

How long have you been a Humber Pilot for and what did you do before joining ABP?

I started with ABP in October 2018, initially as a trainee pilot for six months, I have been qualified now for just over five years. Prior to joining ABP I used to work on cross channel ferries between Dover and France.

Why did you decide to become a Humber Pilot and what do you enjoy most about the role?

I was recommended to apply for the job by a friend who was already working at ABP as a Humber Pilot, he was aware I was looking for a more challenging position.

During our "shifts" we are on call for our 10 days of rostered work. This itself can bring challenges as our working routine is never set, potentially sliding from a day shift to a night-shift and back again over the course of the 10 days. No two days are the same, each and every ship is different, and the variety of ports we go to keeps us on our toes - it is a really rewarding role.