PLA steps up recruitment drive in Gravesend

Gravesend’s geography means that plenty of youngsters likely grow up dreaming of a career on the water and the Port of London Authority’s recruitment drive has come at an opportune time.

There’s no better time of year to work on the Thames, and the PLA’s Gravesend workshop in Denton Wharf hosted an open day last week to find new marine engineers and deckhands.

The day gave visitors, some as young as 16, the chance to see how the PLA’s fleet of more than 40 boats, plus channel-marking lights and buoys, are maintained.

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The Port of London Authority held an open day, where prospective apprentices and their parents were shown around and given an idea of what is involved on the 48 month scheme

With the PLA responsible for looking after a 95-mile stretch of the iconic river, from the North Sea through the heart of the historic city to Teddington Lock in West London, there is certainly a need for a few more apprentices on board.

Glenn Witham, the PLA’s HR director, said: “Apprenticeships are a great route into work for young people and mean proper training and invaluable experience, as well as a wage.

“Working at the PLA is exciting, as there’s so much variety in what we do. We work in some of the most interesting places on the river in London, Essex and Kent.”

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They were given a tour by Michael Russell, who is a former apprentice himself

People who could not get along to the open day but are interested in an apprenticeship can find an application form at, which they should then email to

The salary for these roles is the statutory apprentice wage, dependent on age, and includes 28 days’ paid annual leave and eight paid bank holidays.

Hours of work are 35 per week and include time at college.

The closing date for applications is Wednesday, July 19.

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