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26th September 2017 - Press Release

DWDR looks to the future with the arrival of its first apprentice

The Port of Dover and VSBW, the principal contractor for its flagship Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development, are extremely pleased to announce the arrival of the first of their three apprentices on-site.

Rory Sutton, aged 18, joined VSBW a month ago having completed his first year at MidKent College, Maidstone, where he is undertaking a Construction and the Built Environment course.  During the summer holidays Rory worked full time on the £250m development, building up knowledge and experience before he returned to his coursework earlier this month, which will take up one day a week for the duration of his apprenticeship.

Rory said: “It is really interesting and exciting working on this project. It was an initial culture shock going from studying to working for a large business on such a prestigious project, but I feel like I am thriving and making a difference.”

Tim Waggott, Chief Executive at the Port of Dover, said: “Apprenticeships are a great route into work for young people and mean proper training and invaluable experience, as well as a wage. The future is exciting at the Port of Dover, as we are investing in expanding our business operations and improving the chances for young people is part of our commitment to the community."

Rory is ‘learning on the job’ with current tasks involving the collation of vital piling data, which is being used for management reporting. In addition, Rory is getting a good understanding of all aspects of the project. Rory’s role with VSBW is due to continue for the next 18 months, after which he is guaranteed a role at the Port of Dover for the remainder of his 3-year apprenticeship.

Stuart Eckersley, Project Director for VSBW, said: “It is encouraging to see these new apprentices get involved and add value to the project as a whole, as well as learning new skills and gaining experience for their future and the future of our industry.  It is a true legacy for the project.”

Chris Hare, Executive Director of Employer Relations at MidKent College said: “It’s a testament to schemes such as the Apprenticeship programme to see how Rory and his colleagues will be contributing to such a prestigious and exciting project. We look forward to supporting Port of Dover and VSBW, and celebrating the huge benefits that employing apprentices can bring to their business.” 



Notes to editors

  1. Port of Dover

The Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) is a one-off opportunity for the regeneration of Dover, bringing new investment into the area.  With UK Government planning approval and supported by a mix of private finance and European Union grant funding, DWDR will deliver:


  • A transformed waterfront to ultimately attract a host of shops, bars, cafes and restaurants with Dover's unique backdrop of the harbour, cliffs and castle;
  • Relocation and further development of the cargo business with a new cargo terminal and distribution centre;
  • Creation of greater space within the Eastern Docks for ferry traffic; and
  • Much needed quality employment opportunities for local people.


DWDR is the single biggest investment ever undertaken by the Port of Dover with c. £250m committed for its delivery.

DWDR scored ‘Excellent’ for the CEEQUAL Interim Client and Outline Design Award - the evidence-based sustainability assessment, rating and awards scheme that promotes the achievement of high environmental and social performance in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and public realm projects.


  1. VSBW

VSBW is a joint venture between VolkerStevin and Boskalis Westminster to deliver the marine structures and bridge contract for the Port of Dover’s flagship Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development.

With a contract value of £115m, this construction stage will include the design and build of two new berths including quay walls and land reclamation, a new marina pier, the marina curve, navigation channel and new lock gates, Bascule Bridge and capital dredging work. 

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