Tall ships race gives ABP apprentices experience of a lifetime

Charity, Clubs, Corporate Social Responsibility, Maritime Education and Training, Sailing, Sports, Yachting — By on July 15, 2016 at 10:13 AM
Eight ABP apprentices took part in the final leg of the 2016 Apprentice Ship Cup aboard the tall ship Bessie Ellen

Eight ABP apprentices took part in the final leg of the 2016 Apprentice Ship Cup aboard the tall ship Bessie Ellen (image courtesy of ABP)

Eight ABP apprentices took on the challenge of a lifetime recently when they participated in the 2016 Apprentice Ship Cup.

The apprentices, who all work for ABP on the Humber in the marine and engineering departments, spent five days aboard the tall ship Bessie Ellen, the last wooden sailing ketch still under sail, travelling from Falmouth to Southampton in a race that sees young people from across the UK and beyond take each other on to be crowned winners.

The race is organised by Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust and companies sending teams of apprentices include: ABP, Glendale, Peel Holdings, Sellafield Limited, Nuvia, Riverside, GetRag, Liverpool City Council, Pendennis Ship Builders and Liverpool University.

The event is designed to give apprentices the chance to develop their teamworking and problem-solving skills, as well as their self–confidence, and leadership and communication skills.

A picture form the event were ABP was named ‘Best Promoter’ of the race at the gala dinner (image courtesy of ABP)

A picture form the event were ABP was named ‘Best Promoter’ of the race at the gala dinner (image courtesy of ABP)

The race ended with a gala dinner and presentation ceremony, at which ABP was named ‘Biggest Promoter’ of this year’s race.

ABP Marine Training Manager Martin Gough said: “The Apprentice Ship Cup provides a fantastic opportunity for these young people and we didn’t hesitate in offering them the chance to take part.

“The experience will undoubtedly benefit both their professional and personal development and will provide memories I’m sure they’ll treasure for many years to come.”

George Davies, ABP Marine Operations Apprentice on his first trip aboard a sail training ship said: “Some challenging weather conditions of strong winds and heavy rain meant we had some exciting sailing and it really brought home the need to work as an effective team.”



  • ABP is the UK’s leading ports operator with 21 ports and other transport related businesses creating a unique national network capable of handling a vast array of cargo.
  • Around one quarter of the UK’s seaborne trade passes through ABP’s Statutory Harbour Areas.
  • ABP contributes £5.6 billion to the UK economy every year and supports 84, 000 jobs. Our current investment programme promises to deliver an extra £1.75 billion for the economy every year.


  • Handled over 1.6 million vehicles in 2014.
  • Generates around one quarter of the UK’s rail freight
  • Has 1.4 million square metres of covered storage

Has 1000 hectares of open storage

  • Handled 94.5m tonnes of cargo in 2014
  • Owns 5000 hectares of port estate
  • Has 87km of quay

Over the next five years, ABP is investing over £650 million in a wide range of major projects across the group.

ABP Humber

The four ports of Grimsby, Immingham, Hull and Goole handle more than 61 million tonnes of cargo between them each year.

Grimsby and Immingham form the UK’s busiest trading gateway and move around 50 million tonnes of cargo per annum.

£130-plus million is currently being invested in the biomass handling terminal in Immingham, in a Humber-wide agreement with Drax Power Ltd that has seen £25 million invested in a biomass handling facility in Hull. The Immingham Renewable Fuels Terminal handles sustainable biomass shipments and will create over 100 permanent jobs once complete. The construction phase created 100 employment opportunities.

The Port of Hull handles 10 million tonnes of cargo per annum and is the is the focal point for the development of the UK’s largest offshore wind turbine manufacturing, construction, assembly, and service facility, which will be located on the Port’s Alexandra Dock. This new facility represents a £310 million investment and will create up to 1000 direct jobs.

The Grimsby River Terminal represents an investment of £26 million and allows large car-carrying ships to berth outside the Port’s lock system. This development confirms the Port’s position as the UK’s leading automotive handling facility.

More than the equivalent of 1million teus (twenty foot equivalent unit) of unitised trade is shipped through ABP Humber ports

Goole is situated 50 miles upriver and is the UK’s premier inland port. It handles over one million tonnes of cargo annually.

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