Megan Pickering from nearby Runcorn is one of a wave of new engineering apprentices who will benefit from the development of Liverpool2, a £345 million deep sea container terminal funded by the deal and due to open in 2015. She’s currently studying at Maritime and Engineering College North West, with which Peel Ports signed a collaboration agreement in 2012 for the delivery of job-specific training and skills.
The financing of the terminal has helped unlock the next generation of engineers who, like Megan, possess the skills that will push forward the legacy of the UK’s shipping industry. She describes her training as “a great opportunity”.
“As an apprentice, Peel Ports has really looked after me,” says Megan. “They are ensuring I get the best education and skills training available.
“From a personal point of view, I’m treated like everyone else. Coming into a male-dominated environment that’s what’s helped me the most.”
In addition to Megan, communities across Merseyside are expected to feel the positive effects of Liverpool2. The £1.6 billion deal will create 5,000 jobs, including around 26 engineering apprentice positions.
“The port has historically been one of the major local employers. We’re keen to maintain this and develop our business to be one of the best, for our employees and our customers,” says Lyndsey Maloney, Liverpool2 Business Partner at Peel Ports Group.
“If we can source the vast majority of our workforce from the local community, that’s beneficial to both us and the local economy.”
Alan Parry, Managing Director of Secured Debt Markets at RBS, agrees: “Financing creates real job opportunities. Some say that banks have no social utility – I absolutely object to that. When banks are at their best that’s exactly what they have.
“This is a great example of different teams within RBS coming together to deliver a coherent outcome for the client.”
Head and shoulders
According to Doug Coleman, Liverpool2 Programme Director, “there is a long-standing relationship between RBS and this business.
“At the stage where we were considering appointing our financial advisers, RBS stood head and shoulders above others that we were speaking to.”
Peel Ports Group handles more than 65 million tonnes of cargo a year, with the Port of Liverpool being a key site. As Doug explains, the Liverpool2 terminal is a vital expansion that will help the UK’s shipping industry to remain globally competitive and will “act as a catalyst for future development”.
“The benefit to the local community will be hugely positive,” Lyndsey concludes.