Memorandum by British Ports Industry Training
BPIT notes with some concern that the terms
of reference for the sub-committee's study do not mention training
or qualifications for the port industry's workforce. However,
we trust that the following information will not be considered
1. British Ports Industry Training (BPIT)
is the National Training Organisation (NTO) for the UK ports industry.
It has an annual budget of £300,000, a substantial portion
of which is provided by the Department of Education and Employment
to facilitate projects which meet the Government's training and
education agenda. BPIT has a membership scheme, to which almost
all commercial ports and harbours subscribe. BPIT's membership
covers 85 per cent of ports and 75 per cent of the industry's
employees. It is therefore well-placed to comment on the skills
needs of the industry. A list of BPIT's members is attached (Appendix
1), from which it should be noted that these include terminal
operators, stevedoring and contract labour companies, pilotage
organisations and ferry companies, as well as port authorities.
2. BPIT's mission is "to be the focal
point in the UK for the development and promotion of ports-related
standards of competence, where appropriate, and to ensure that
each organisation in the ports industry understands that a highly
trained and qualified workforce is vital to its success".
3. BPIT was formed in 1992 and became an
NTO in 1998. It employs five members of staff based in Newmarket.
It has developed competence standards and qualifications for most
of the industry's operatives as well as for marine pilots. It
is currently developing standards for supervisors and senior marine
4. BPIT provides a service to the industry
and is a not-for-profit organisation. It communicates regularly
with industry organisations, keeping them informed of current
initiatives in training, qualifications and other related matters.
It undertakes surveys of the industry, feeding labour market data
back to Regional Development Agencies and other stakeholders.
A recently published "skills portfolio" addresses the
industry's skills needs over the next five years.
5. Four advisory committees consisting of
70 members from over 40 different ports provide a two-way communication
facility with the industry. Each committee focuses on a different
aspect of the industry, namely stevedoring, marine operations,
passenger operations and management.
6. BPIT works closely with the two main
trade associationsBPA and UKMPGand liaises on a
regular basis with the Ports Safety Organisation.
7. During the next three years BPIT intends
to undertake the following in pursuance of its mission:
to encourage adaptability to technological
to encourage the employment of younger
people in the industry;
to review the availability of qualified
to facilitate basic skills training
to provide appropriate qualification
structures for managers;
to encourage all employees to receive
training in customer service;
to encourage greater flexibility
in working methods;
to assist labour suppliers to locate
suitable training facilities; and
to encourage lifelong learning.
8. All the above are designed to assist
the industry in its quest to be competitive with other ports in
Western Europe and to ensure that its employees are competent
and qualified for the jobs they perform.