Port jobs boost

MORE than 150 new jobs have been created at Britain's biggest port in the past year – and 200 more workers will be taken on in the next 12 months, it was revealed today.

MORE than 150 new jobs have been created at Britain's biggest port in the past year – and 200 more workers will be taken on in the next 12 months, it was revealed today.

Most of the new recruits are working on the quaysides at Felixstowe to deal with the growing amount of cargo being handled.

But other workers have included security men as part of the multi-million pound project to bolster security as a precaution against terrorist attacks, and also office staff in various departments.

Corporate affairs manager Paul Davey said the port staff now totalled 2,700 workers – compared with around 2,000 just a few years ago.


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"The port is growing and last year we took on around 150 extra people, and in the next 12 months will take on 200 more," he said.

"We are continuing to recruit and our biggest need is quayside workers because of the growth in traffic volumes we are handling.

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"That is good news for Felixstowe and the wider area, and the local economy.

"In the long term the proposals for Felixstowe South, if they are approved by the public inquiry, will bring another 600 or so jobs."

Around £300 per week minimum is paid to those joining as quayside workers with the option to earn more with overtime.

Details of the success of the port over the past few years will be given to Confederation of British Industry (CBI) director-general Digby Jones today as he makes a fact-finding visit to the container terminal.

The CBI chief is on a regional tour to talk to business leaders to keep abreast of the current issues.

"I think he wants to keep in touch with people and it is our chance to keep him up to date with port development, transport strategies and issues where we need help or are keen to lobby," said Mr Davey.

"We would be keen for the CBI to put pressure on the government on a number of matters which concern not just ourselves but all the Haven Ports, especially to get the railway connections we feel we deserve and need for the government to meet its objectives for getting more cargo onto the rail network."

The rail network will be one of the key factors next month when a public inquiry opens into the port's next planned expansion project – the redevelopment of its southern container terminal to double its capacity in years ahead.

It is hoping that more than a quarter of all containers handled will by 2020 enter and leave the port by rail.

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

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