Local skills agreement for Dover signed

The Port of Dover and East Kent College have signed an important agreement, which will see them strengthen the local economy and deliver exciting career prospects for young people in Dover.

The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by Tim Waggott, Chief Executive at the Port of Dover and Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College, focuses on how to develop the skills of local people to support the ongoing development and future success of the Port.

The Port of Dover, as the major local employer, and East Kent College will now work closely to identify the skills needed by Europe’s busiest ferry port and its customers. Once the skills issues have been identified, the two organisations will develop joint training programmes.

The agreement also focuses on the future skills required as part of Dover Western Docks Revival, a key transformational project bringing 600 new jobs, so the training can be put in place for local people to benefit from this significant opportunity.

Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College, said: “Since taking on the Dover campus from the former K College, and establishing a base at Discovery Park, we have worked hard to get to know the local business community and better understand their needs in terms of skills and training.

“It is clear from our conversations with Tim and his colleagues that we have a shared vision for a stronger, more dynamic Dover economy with a greater emphasis on matching the skills needs of business with the vocational skills we are helping to deliver, particularly those of the Port.

“This agreement is the first of what we hope will be a series of strategic alliances with the major businesses that are driving the economy of Dover, Shepway and Thanet forward.”

Given the Port’s current and future importance to the country’s freight and logistics industry, the agreement has identified the need to consider developing Dover into a nationally recognised centre of excellence for logistics training as one of its priorities.

Tim Waggott, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover, added: “Our plans for the revival of the Western Docks have been warmly welcomed by local residents and businesses. This agreement will help ensure that local people will be able to gain the necessary skills and be well placed to benefit from the future growth of the port.

“As we invest in our future and that of Dover, there will be a greater demand for appropriately skilled people and we need to ensure that we can continue to and increasingly recruit them locally to support our growth. This agreement is therefore extremely important in ensuring our collective ability to help strengthen the economy of Dover, and East Kent more widely.” 

As part of the collaboration, the Port and East Kent College will explore opportunities to develop high quality facilities for the delivery of the programmes, either at East Kent College’s Dover campus or at the Port. There will also be collaboration on funding bids and projects to increase the investment in skills that supports the efficient running of the Port’s operations.

Through the programme, East Kent College students will have the opportunity to undertake a range of work placement and experience opportunities at the Port, with the aim of ensuring there are increased employment opportunities for local students.


Caption (L-R): Apprentice Joe Ward; Tim Waggott, Chief Executive at the Port of Dover; Graham Razey, Principal of East Kent College; and apprentice Thomas Biggington

Posted on 09/12/2014