Insights Shipping apprentice gains a global view
08 March 2019

Shipping apprentice gains a global view

Seafast Website Feature

To mark National Apprenticeship Week, growing logistics and transportation company Seafast is giving one of its apprentices a global view when she swaps jobs with the CEO.

Group CEO, David Halliday, started his career in the shipping industry as a documentation clerk in the 1980s, and is committed to providing career progression opportunities within Seafast.

Swapping with David is Abigail Hooker, 31, who joined the company’s Felixstowe Head Office last year and is undertaking an international freight forwarding apprenticeship. The job swap will provide Abigail a chance to see how her career could develop in the future.

Abigail is taking her apprenticeship through Outsource, part of the Seetec Group, and says: “It’s really interesting and has given me a lot more knowledge, especially about the customs side of my role.

“I have worked in the transport sector previously, but this is my first job in freight forwarding. I co-ordinate shipments to the Falkland Islands and it’s all new to me. It’s exciting to see the opportunities to progress in the industry.”

CEO David Halliday started his career as a retail management trainee. He said: “I had friends who had gone into shipping and their jobs seemed much more exciting.”

David worked for several Suffolk-based shipping companies as he sought opportunities to progress his career. Eventually he secured a commercial role with a company trading in Australasia and the Far East and has never looked back since. David progressed to Commercial Director and worked his way up from there, later becoming Chief Executive of Contship Containerlines.

In 2015 David became CEO of Seafast. He said: “Seafast is different to a lot of freight forwarding companies, the focus of our activity is in a number of remote, challenging countries and emerging markets, such as Ethiopia where we are delivering vehicles for the United Nations. We are also sending goods to South Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Kurdistan and establishing links in Rwanda.”

Apprenticeships are vital to Seafast's growth plans. Already former apprentices have progressed into more senior roles and David is enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate with the young people we’ve recruited. We’re not a big company and I tell the apprentices that it’s down to them how far they go. The attraction of what we do is that we’re different. If they have drive and ambition, there’s plenty of opportunity to progress in our fast-growing company.

“If you get the right individuals, it’s a chance to mould them in a particular way and have them become part of the DNA of Seafast.”

For more information about apprenticeship opportunities, contact our friendly recruitment team. To learn more about National Apprenticeship Week, follow #NAW2019.