THE number of trainees at the Port of Tilbury will triple this year to at least 60.

The traineeships, which are available for 16 to 23-year-olds, give those who are unemployed the chance to gain work-based training and experience, as well as English and maths qualifications.

A large number of trainees at the port have gone on to start apprenticeships and take on other permanent roles there.

Perry Glading, chief operating officer at the port, said traineeships were a significant part of its recruitment strategy.

He added: “Like apprenticeships, traineeships are a means to invest in the future of our business and to ensure we have the skilled workforce we need for the future.

“As well as helping to improve the prospects of young people in our local community in Thurrock, traineeships are vital in bringing fresh talent into the port and addressing the local skills shortage.

“Our ultimate aim is to offer suitable trainees an apprenticeship or other job at the port.”

The work by the Port of Tilbury was recently recognised in the Thurrock Civic Awards, where it won the Business in the Community award.

The port will also be on show to the world this month in Miami.

Port owner Forth Ports will be showcasing its cruising destinations from Tilbury and Edinburgh to the industry at the Cruise Shipping Miami Conference.

Forth will also highlight the multimillion pound renovation project currently under way at the Tilbury terminal that is seeing an upgrade in facilities and an increase in capacity to accommodate larger ships.

Captain Richard Exley, marine and cruise manager at the port, said: “Forth Ports’ cruise terminals had an excellent 2013 season and we’re looking forward to a busy 2014.

“Our cruise terminals in London and Edinburgh, the ‘quays to the capitals’, are currently undergoing significant investment and improvements, and offer an excellent passenger experience with the utmost attention to detail.”