Port denies recruitment freeze claim

PORT chiefs at Felixstowe today denied claims that they have put a freeze on recruitment - and said more workers would be taken on when they were needed.

PORT chiefs at Felixstowe today denied claims that they have put a freeze on recruitment - and said more workers would be taken on when they were needed.

Officials said all staffing levels were currently being met and it was expected there would be a fresh drive for new workers as the new expansion came on stream.

Port corporate affairs manager, Paul Davey said: “Over the past two or three years we have taken on around 400 new workers.

“We tend to recruit in batches, taking on a large number of workers to be trained at one time.


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“At the moment we are at the establishment we need for the work which is being handled, though I don't doubt that this could change with the natural process of people leaving and retiring and there will be a need to recruit a new batch.

“It is true that we are not advertising for staff at the moment, but it is not a freeze - we just don't need extra workers.”

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Some workers have claimed that shifts were short of men and no new workers were being taken on to cover as policy.

The port - which employs around 2,800 people - is expecting to take on another 620 people over the next few decades.

These will not all be recruited at once and will be employed as and when the different phases of the new £240 million expansion project are complete.

The scheme to redevelop Landguard Terminal and the Dock Basin will increase capacity considerably and enable the port to handle more of the world's biggest ships at one time.

At present, preparations are taking place for the project with tender documents being prepared, background work done on the dualling of the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line, and other arrangements. It is hoped to start work next year.

In addition to the 620 port jobs, it is expected that the scheme will create an extra 860 in dock-related employment.

WEBLINK: www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

What do you think of the port expansion? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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