National Apprenticeship Week: Developing Leaders – The Bristol Port Company

In 2017, Weston College and The Bristol Port Company worked in partnership to develop the Maritime Leadership and Development Apprenticeship, with the aim of offering training to Bristol Port employees aspiring to enter a management role within their organisation.

5 years later, and the success rates have been more than impressive.

25 people have completed the Level 3 course, with 98% achieving a Distinction, and a further 10 have completed the Level 5 apprenticeship, with 95% gaining a Distinction – the highest grade possible.

People in all areas of the organisation have completed this tailored apprenticeship, from Car Trade Manager to Purchasing Officer, with interpersonal skills to leadership qualities developed through the apprenticeship programme which can be transferred to any department within the company.

Steve Baker, Car Trade Manager at The Bristol Port Company completed the course, and said: “This opportunity has really elevated my career. I started the course in 2020 and it was one of the best decisions I have made. I am now utilising the skills I gained through the programme on a daily basis to lead a team of 63 people to successfully deliver targets.”

These thoughts were echoed by David Brown, CEO at The Bristol Port Company, who added: “We have been very impressed with our bespoke training initiative. Currently, we have 10 employees who are due to take their End Point Assessment and complete their apprenticeship in the next few months. The apprenticeship typically takes 18-24 months to complete during which those involved have grown in confidence and become more effective leaders, in turn this has had a positive impact on our organisation.”

Dr Paul Phillips CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of Weston College Group, said: “Apprenticeships are a fantastic tool for employers to upskill their staff and develop a bespoke package for their organisation and Bristol Port Company is a perfect example of it working in action. Like Weston College, The Bristol Port Company is passionate about developing their people, so this partnership has been built on solid foundations and it continues to deliver fantastic results. I’m looking forward to seeing this partnership continue to flourish over the coming years.”

If you would like to build a bespoke apprenticeship programme with Weston College, contact the apprenticeship team via email: or call 01934 411 594.