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Private Trevaughn Williams is living his best life as a Port Operator with 17 Port and Maritime Regiment.

Trev, as he is known, joined the Army three years ago and has already been to Greece, Poland, and Gibraltar and supported the Royal Marines on exercise.

I wanted to learn a trade, improve myself and have a bit of adventure. The Army offered that. I couldn’t find anything else that did" Private Trevaughn Williams, 17 Port and Maritime Regiment

He is currently working towards a Level 2 Port Operator apprenticeship. The course, equivalent to two ‘A’ levels, sees Trev learn the safety aspects of working in a hazardous port environment. He will also gain his Materials Handling Equipment (MHE) Licences including forklift driver and crane driver.

Prior to joining the Army Trev worked as a lifeguard at his local swimming pool whilst he figured out what he wanted to do.

“I wanted to learn a trade, improve myself and have a bit of adventure. The Army offered that. I couldn’t find anything else that did.”

Once he has gained his Port Operator qualification, he intends to gain his NVQ Level 3 in Stevedoring.

A stevedore is a person who loads and unloads cargo on and off ships. They are often described as the interface between the land and sea. The speed of cargo handling depends upon their skills.

Trev doesn’t intend to stop studying and intends to seize every training opportunity offered. Later in his career he plans to gain his Level 5 NVQ in Leadership and Management.

“I was aware I could complete an Apprenticeship and gain trade qualifications when I joined. I’m learning a lot and as part of my apprenticeship I spend time with teachers outside the Army; that’s interesting as well, to get a different perspective.”

We were moving everything from a simple pallet to a large container. We then had to ensure it was all secured with chains and it was all loaded in accordance with the plan” PRIVATE TREVAUGHN WILLIAMS, 17 PORT AND MARITIME REGIMENT

He continued: “I’m more of a practical learner, so the vocational parts of the training have really helped me. I didn’t really enjoy school; I much prefer hands-on learning.

“The qualifications and experience I have gained will help me in future employment when I leave the Army. It’s giving me some great options to take into the rest of my working life.”

Once he has completed his apprentice Trev plans to become a mentor to new and  upcoming port operators. He said: “I will have the depth and knowledge to help them, just like I have been.”

Trev’s work can vary from day to day. He can find himself working day or night and recently spent a day loading three vessels with military equipment to take part in exercises in Europe. The team used mechanical handling equipment to move the containers onto the ship.

Trev said: “We were moving everything from a simple pallet to a large container. We then had to ensure it was all secured with chains and it was all loaded in accordance with the plan.”

He does physical training three times a week and gets to play cricket on Wednesday afternoons. He’s also found time to become a qualified swimming instructor so he can teach service personnel to swim and help potential recruits pass the Military Swim Test. And if that wasn’t enough, he also coaches his Regiment’s swimming team.

If you want to see the world and experience different places and cultures, then Port Operator is the trade for you” Private Trevaughn Williams, 17 Port and Maritime Regiment

This year Trev will deploy to several countries including the Falklands and plans to gain more MHE experience. He will also represent his regiment at a basketball tournament.

Trev said: “If you want to see the world and experience different places and cultures, then Port Operator is the trade for you.”

The Army is one of the UK’s largest Apprenticeship Employer Providers and is committed to delivering a strong Apprenticeship programme. Its goal is to ensure a soldier joins well, serves well, and leaves well by achieving nationally recognised qualifications during their service.

Those interested in an apprenticeship with the Army should visit their local Armed Forces careers office or to find out more information visit here

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