A delegation of education and training leaders from China’s Ningbo region – home to the busiest port in the world – have visited Blyth as part of a fact finding mission to the UK.
The trip is the latest stage in the development of a port training partnership between the UK and China, which is led by the Association of Colleges and the British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities.
UK port training expertise in demand
A shortage of port and logistics related training expertise in China, has left colleagues there looking to the UK for assistance with the development of vocational qualifications for the Chinese port industry.
Port Training Services, the Port of Blyth subsidiary, was originally selected to provide training and qualification expertise as part of a UK delegation’s recent visit to China and was asked to host a return visit by Chinese educators and training professionals.
An Association of Colleges report on the trip highlighted how organisations like Port Training Services had developed the key frameworks for port related vocational qualification and apprenticeships – and how this might be replicated in China. It also noted how investment in training by Port of Blyth had helped to increase productivity and reduce work-related accidents whilst generating a greater sense of employee loyalty within the company.
Sharing best practice
Colin Bassam, Training Manager at Port Training Services, said: “Hosting training delegates from China in Blyth on behalf of the Association of Colleges and the British Council was a huge honour. Sharing best practice is a key way to improve standards in port training and it’s hoped that this training partnership with China could deliver many mutual benefits.”
Port of Ningbo-Zhoushan is the busiest in the world in terms of cargo tonnage, having handled cargo of nearly 900 million tons in 2015. A potential tie in with such an important port infrastructure in Asia could provide significant opportunities for Port Training Services.