On behalf of the British Ports Association (BPA), Shoreham Port was pleased to attend the first meeting of The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) European HR network today. The meeting took place at ESPO in Brussels and brought together HR professionals of European ports that had travelled far and wide in order to exchange experience, best practice and share current concerns.
The European network has been established following a European Commission initiative that was introduced at the end of 2017, to set up a high level network ‘Women in Transport – EU platform for change’. ESPO is a founding member of the platform and the first meeting of the HR network was designed to ensure that as many European ports as possible could participate in the platform for change.
Sophie Marin-Combeaud, Policy Officer at the European Commission introduced the EU platform for change and commented on the need for gender equality within the transport sector.
Ms Karin Heremans, school principal at the Antwerp Atheneum also shared her work and experience. During the past years, Ms Heremans has taken different very innovative initiatives aiming at better matching the education of her students with the job profiles needed in the neighbouring port of Antwerp. At the same time, Ms Heremans has completed important work in the field of diversity and de-radicalisation and is serving as advisor to the European Commission on these topics.
The meeting created an opportunity to discuss the broader challenge of enhancing diversity in ports and developing a port working environment which better mirrors and attracts the profiles of young people living around ports and looking for a new career.
Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General at ESPO said “Ports are facing a common challenge to show what it really means to work in a port and to show that the port is a fantastic environment to work in and is looking for a wide variety of skills meeting many profiles at all levels. ESPO is happy to continue the reflection with the HR people in the ports on how to enhance this image of ports as a good working environment for everyone.”
Nicky Goldsbrough, Director of Corporate Services at Shoreham Port said “We were delighted to represent British Ports at the first meeting and contribute towards the platform for change. We fully support the need for greater diversity in the sector and the creation of the Women in Transport platform is a much needed first step as a catalyst for change. We will continue to work with other ports to raise the profile of the industry and to showcase the opportunities available for varied and rewarding careers in this sector.”