The Duke of York today opened the new North Rail Terminal at The Port of Felixstowe, at a ceremony that included local dignitaries, port customers, and young apprentices employed by the port.
The port currently handles 58 freight train movements per day, shortly to increase to 60. More departures to more destinations than any other UK port. The new North Rail Terminal will, eventually, double rail capacity at the port (double the number of containers moving by rail but, as the trains will be longer, not necessarily the number of trains).
The investment by the port is complimented by the commitment by Network Rail to Port of Felixstowe Apprenticeship Scheme. The scheme commenced over 10 years ago in response to the rapid advances in the technology used in our materials handling equipment and the relative short supply of appropriately trained technicians available in the local labour market.
Since its inception they have processed close to 100 apprentices through the Modern Engineering Apprenticeship scheme with around 20 apprentices at various stages of development at any one time. Most of those apprentices have secured jobs at the port following their course and others have moved successfully into the offshore sustainable energy industry, the marine leisure industry and agricultural engineering industry.
In 2010 the Port has offering Business Apprenticeships, a generalist two year NVQ for young people training them in a range of disciplines. They are assigned to a department which suits their aptitude and interests and are mentored by a line manager whilst enjoying day release at a local college of further education.
Durring the visit HRH spoke to BBC Look East.
You can find out more about The Port of Felixstowe’s apprenticeship scheme on their website.