ABP Southampton is investing for the future with an apprentice scheme that sees young talent learning from experienced team members working in the port.

A recent project saw apprentices using their tools and drawing on experience from colleagues around them, to fashion a new planter that will take pride of place outside West Bay House in the Western Docks.

As part of the recent project, mechanical apprentice Curtis Meredith and electrical apprentice Morgan Rodaway put new found skills to good use to create a stylish new planter.

The 17-year-olds were set the task of creating an eye-catching design as part of a fun interactive learning session conducted in the style of 'Dragons Den.'

As well as encouraging the development of new skills, the project was an opportunity for the apprentices to work closely with some of the long-serving members of the maintenance team and draw on their experience.

ABP Southampton head of maintenance, Jason Bonnett said: "It's great for our apprentices to learn hands-on skills and I'm really delighted with what they have produced. We now have a planter that will brighten up the port and showcase the skills our apprentices have for everyone to see."

Curtis said he enjoyed the experience.

"The hardest part was making the frame and working with hand tools but we really enjoyed the whole experience," he said.

Morgan added: "We learned a lot and it was great to learn new skills."

The port has five engineering/maintenance apprentices and an admin support apprentice.

There is currently a vacancy for a marine operations apprentice and director Alastair Welch is keen to emphasise the career opportunities at the port.

"We are looking for people who want to begin their careers at the Port of Southampton - they will have the opportunity to earn while they learn," he said.