Career pathways

British ports keep the economy moving

The port sector is changing. With new technologies and automation comes new opportunities. Careers in digital, sustainability, and innovation are increasing, and new roles will continue to emerge. It’s an exciting time to get involved in the port sector.

Ports form an essential part of the UK logistics chain. Every year, 65 million passengers and 500 million tonnes of cargo move through UK ports – that’s 95% of the UK’s international trade.

As an island nation, the UK requires everything from deep-water container ports to small harbours. Ports support:

  • The needs of oil and gas tankers.
  • Ro-ro, liquid and dry bulk.
  • Ferry and cruise companies.
  • Commercial.
  • Military.
  • Leisure.

This means that there is a variety of port facilities that provide opportunities for every possible type of career.

  • Operations – port operations and plant.
  • Engineering – mechanical, electrical, civil, design, fabrication and welding.
  • Marine – hydrography, pilotage, harbour master, vessel traffic services.
  • Logistics – warehousing and transport.
  • Corporate affairs – marketing and communications.
  • Human resources – learning and development, recruitment.
  • IT, data and technology.
  • Finance and accounting.
  • Legal.
  • Administration.
  • Planning and licensing.
  • Environmental.
  • Property.
  • Health and safety.
  • Security.

Many ports offer apprenticeships, graduate programmes, internships and work experience placements.

Explore the links below to find out more and hear from some of the people working in ports.