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First CPD programme for river workforce launched by Thames partnership

The country’s first inland waterway continuing professional development (CPD) scheme has been launched by the Thames Skills Academy (TSA), the Company of Watermen & Lightermen (CWL) and the Port of London Authority (PLA).

Thames CPD focusses on mandatory safety courses, accredited formal training and “on the job” learning. Initially open to those with a Boatmaster’s Licence (BML), it will be rolled out to include everyone working afloat.

The programme has been designed to help crews employed on the capital’s river build long-term careers, with input from commercial boat operators and their employees from the 95-mile length of the tidal Thames, from Teddington to the North Sea. Partners involved include Cory, GPS Marine, Livett’s Group, Tideway, Transport for London (TfL) and Uber Boat by Thames Clippers.

Derek Mann, master of CWL, who has worked on the river for over 50 years, said: “Whether you are 17 or 70, Thames CPD is a major step forward for everyone who makes their living on the river.

“I encourage all my river colleagues to sign up to the Thames CPD programme. The world is changing fast, making it essential that river workers’ skills are up-to-date and fit for the challenges that lie ahead. “

Christopher Rodrigues, PLA chairman, said: “A well-trained, well-qualified workforce is central to maximising the river’s social, economic and environmental potential and achieving our Thames Vision 2050 goals.

Thames CPD, designed for and by river workers, will help maintain the Thames. the beating heart of London, as one of the world’s premier waterways.”

Richard Everitt, TSA chairman, said: “Thames CPD is the result of detailed consultation with companies operating on the tidal Thames and their crews, as well as leisure users of the river.

“I would like to thank everyone who has helped us with its development. As more companies and workers sign up, I look forward to it going from strength to strength in the years ahead. It’s a vital building block in ensuring the river’s continued prosperity.

Jeremie Dousellin, who secured his BML in 2020 and recently joined the PLA from City Cruises, said: “Thames CPD is a chance for me to keep my skills and knowledge up to date.”

More information can be found on the dedicated Thames CPD site.