A day in the life of… Bethan Deakin, ABP Port Operative Apprentice, South Wales

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ABP Property

Our property division brings together an unrivalled land bank spanning 21 multi-modal locations around the country, with 960 hectares of port-based development land.

ABPmer

Drawing on 60 years of experience, ABP Marine Environmental Research (ABPmer) provides specialist marine environmental research and consultancy services.

UK Dredging

UK Dredging (UKD) operates the largest British-owned dredging fleet and specialises in the provision of reliable and cost effective port maintenance dredging services.

ABP DevCo

ABP DevCo creates value from non-port-related development of underutilised land by working collaboratively with stakeholders.

My name is Bethan, I am currently in my 1st year of an 18-month Level 2 Port Operative Apprenticeship based in Cardiff, South Wales.  On completion of my apprenticeship, I will gain an NVQ Level 2 in Port Operations qualification.

Being female in a male dominated environment can be intimidating sometimes, as well as challenging, but at the same time has its positives. When I first started, I sensed nervousness amongst my male colleagues, as this was the first time they’d had a female join their environment, but they soon came to realise that I was ‘one of them’, as relationships started to build.

When I started my apprenticeship my colleagues would often enquire if I required help with the more physical, demanding tasks, which was frustrating at first, but it gave me all the reasons to show them I was able to do the job just as well, if not better, than they could

They will often come to me for my help, which makes me realise I have now gained their full respect and support. I now feel part of the team, able to deal with the daily demands of a busy port environment.

To give you a bit of an overview of my varied daily tasks, I have provided the list below:

  • loading / unloading lorries
  • picking bundles / loads for lorries
  • taking transfers around to the laser shed
  • dealing with customers and lorry drivers
  • climbing up and down bundles
  • writing down and scanning bundles
  • tallying how many bundles have come off the ship or lorry
  • hooking / unhooking packs
  • dodging forklifts and crane hooks
  • blocking (putting blocks of wood down so more packs can be placed on top to make a stack)
  • sweeping, groundwork
  • picking up blocks / chocks
  • shovelling
  • emptying skips
  • re-arranging key walls