Peel Ports’ placement programme advances prospects for Cardiff student

10 January 2023

Peel Ports’ placement programme advances prospects for Cardiff student


In an effort to showcase how employment and education can further one and other, we spoke to Cardiff University Student and Peel Ports employee Francesca Thomas.

Francesca, a 20 year old from Essex, is partway through her Hydrographic Surveyor placement with Peel Ports where she is gaining valuable career experience, whilst collecting data for her Marine Geology dissertation.

Francesca tells us: “I have been introduced to a whole new industry that I’m not able to gain insights into whilst studying at university. Working mostly out on the water, I’ve developed practical skills that will set me apart from the rest when starting my career - and Peel Ports have also given me the opportunity to complete a range of courses to strengthen my talents.

“Not only are these courses valuable to my role and future career but they have also been a lot of fun, providing a dynamic working environment that I enjoy coming back to every day.

“I have also been learning to use the various software programmes involved in processing, charting and distributing hydrographic charts. These are vital to the safety of the vessels moving around the port and river and it makes me feel valued to help with such a crucial role in the company.

Francesca’s dissertation will investigate the influence of storm and current strengths on the displacement of seaweed along the New Brighton coast.

“I’ve moulded my investigation around the increasing recurrence of storm conditions caused by global warming. The results will hopefully be able to determine how climatic extremities affect seaweed growth across New Brighton and if they are a cause for concern in this region. Working in the Group Marine team has especially benefitted my research as I’ve been able to access data from a previously undertaken study.

“The results of my study could also be monitored in the future, comparing the results over a longer period of time and providing greater insights.

Now six months through her placement , Fran is delighted with her decision and the career progress she is making.

“I love the flexibility I’ve been given at Peel Ports, so I can gain the experience best suited for me. I’m able to take on as much responsibility as I like, and push myself to my own limits, without any pressure.

“I would certainly encourage other undergraduates to consider a placement with Peel Ports.”