- Work with cargo, passengers and marine craft in ports and harbours
- You'll need teamwork and practical skills, the ability to follow instructions and explain them to others
- You could progress to become a foreperson or supervisor, and then work your way up to superintendent or operations manager
As a port operative, your role can vary from a stevedore, passenger worker or in marine operations.
As a stevedore, your duties could include:
- Loading and unloading cargo containers using ship or dockside cranes
- Transferring cargoes to storage areas with trailer wagons or forklift trucks
- Operating conveyor equipment and suction pumps for bulk cargoes like grain, coal and oil
As a passenger worker, your duties could include:
- Helping passengers to get on and off boats and ferries
- Giving out travel information such as sailing times or weather conditions
- Checking travel documents
- Directing vehicles to and from their parking bays aboard the vessel
In marine operations, your duties could include:
- Refuelling vessels
- Placing marker buoys in the harbour
- Navigating craft and operating VHF radio and radar equipment
You could work at a port or a marina, and your working environment might be physically demanding.
To be a port operative, you'll need the ability to operate and control equipment, thoroughness and attention to detail, excellent verbal communication skills, the ability to work well with others, observation and recording skills, the ability to work well with your hands, patience in stressful situations, and the ability to use, repair and maintain machines and tools.
You'll need to pass a medical check, and your employer will put you through port safety training. You may need a forklift certificate for some jobs.
Direct application for cargo jobs is possible if you've got experience in warehouse work, operating mobile cranes or using forklift trucks. For passenger operations, previous experience in customer service or travel would be useful.
You could start by doing a port operative intermediate apprenticeship.
With experience, you could be promoted to foreperson or supervisor, and then work your way up to superintendent or operations manager. You might also train to specialise in engineering to maintain the heavy machinery used in ports.