Empowering Growth – Unlocking New Horizons with Port Operatives

The role of our Port Operatives supporting the UK’s biggest warships

Delivering a vital role across Portsmouth Naval Base in support of the Royal Navy, visiting allied Navies, and Industry Partners, our Port Operatives support the berthing and movement of all warships within the Naval Base.

By developing a multi-skilled approach, under the Future Maritime Support Programme, KBS Maritime has made a step-change as to how Alongside Services are delivered by optimising skills and availability to support the diverse requirements of the Royal Navy. This improved, versatile and multi-skilled approach provides flexibility, availability and operational efficiency whilst investing in the professional development of our employees and teams.

In a world where constant skill development is key, KBS Maritime stands as a beacon of opportunity for Port Operatives seeking to expand their abilities and embrace new challenges. With over 900 ship movements and tens of thousands heavy lifts undertaken each year, as a career it offers huge variety and development opportunities.

Meet Sam Woodford, a shining example of our commitment to nurturing talent and fostering growth. Starting within the Naval Base as a Slinger and Forklift driver three years ago, Sam’s journey with us has been full of opportunities to develop skills and gain new licenses whilst keeping the demand of the Royal Navy at the forefront. Today, Sam is versatile Port Operative supporting the two Aircraft Carriers, and three years into his career at the Base, Sam is now qualified and capable of handling a wide range of lift equipment, from MEWP’s to 55-ton cranes (and everything in between), as well as holding a HGV license.

Unleashing potential

By providing comprehensive training, hands-on experience, and a supportive environment, we aim to enable our Port Operatives to grow and thrive, paving the way to become true masters of their trade at Portsmouth Naval Base and also being deployable to support the Royal Navy when alongside throughout the world.

Mastering the art of operation

Sam’s journey to become one of the most proficient and versatile operators, as well as a Lifting AP (Appointed Person), responsible for the planning and execution of lifting operations operated in Portsmouth exemplifies the dynamic nature of the support we provide to the Royal Navy across the Princess Royal Jetty for the nation’s flagships – the Queen Elizabeth Class (QEC) Aircraft Carriers. The expertise of Sam, and our other Port Operatives extends far beyond operation; our Port Operatives are a trusted asset in supporting the Carriers, managing complex lifts, and handling the diverse cargo which supports the deployment calendar of Britain’s largest and most advanced warships. From supporting Charity events by handling delicate Aston Martin vehicles and pallets of fragile, fine crockery, to ensuring aircraft engines are loaded to support the Carrier Strike Group (CSG21), to the most heavy lift carried out by Sam – a 55-ton Ainscough mobile crane to support the routine maintenance of the 280-metre long flight deck.

Diverse responsibilities, thriving opportunities

As a Port Operative, the role encompasses more than just operating lifting equipment. Our teams are the first people the ships see when they are arriving alongside at Portsmouth, and the faces the ship’s company see on the jetty as they are departing for deployment. Port Operatives are entrusted with the berthing operations, supporting the maintenance of the jetties, and connecting up the Carriers with their brows and to Shore Power.

As part of the Future Maritime Support Programme contract, we are working with the Royal Navy to refresh and invest our yellow-fleet assets supporting the Base, which fuels the development opportunities to enable our teams to adapt seamlessly to modern technology and gain new skills and licenses.

Enhancing availability and empowering people

By embracing a transformative approach, we not only optimise our services but also invest in the progression of our people through on-the-job training coupled with comprehensive licensing, qualifications and training. This strategic shift allows KBS Maritime to offer a rewarding and varied role to our Port Operatives, empowering them to adapt to diverse tasks and provide exceptional support to the Royal Navy wherever their needs arise. By enhancing availability and nurturing skills and potential of our employees, we ensure a seamless and efficient service for our customer while creating a fulfilling professional journey for our Port Operatives.