The Port of Inverness is gearing itself up for a return of staff as soon as Scottish Government Guidance permits. Throughout the lockdown, the port has remained open as an essential service and ships have continued to bring goods in and out. Office based staff are working remotely with maritime staff continuing to work whilst adhering to the Government guidance.
Port Chief Executive Sinclair Browne says, “As a key part of Highland Region infrastructure, the port has remained open throughout the entire lockdown period in order to assist wherever possible the fight against COVID-19. In addition, we have a duty to remain open offering a safe haven to any ship/vessel. All staff have worked tirelessly throughout what has been a very difficult period for everyone and I must express thanks for their commitment.”
The administrative staff have been working from home and the Chief Executive continued, “At the outset, like most businesses, we are reacting to events as they unfolded but thankfully we had some measures already in place as part of our Emergency Plan, however we managed to get staff up and running remotely within a very short space of time, with no disruption to the business.”
Now, as lockdown measures are lifted, the port can turn its attention to getting staff back into the office. Both the CEO and Administrator, Gail Meeks, have completed a Prevent COVID-19 awareness course and are now looking at what is required to meet the expected guidelines.
“It has also not been easy on the staff working from home and we have set up a regular conference calls for all staff to keep them in touch with each other and also to provide updates. These virtual gatherings have been greatly appreciated by all staff and have been an excellent forum. We are a tight knit team and regular contact has been a considerable benefit.”
With the outlook still uncertain, the port continues to provide vital facilities for companies in the Highlands to flourish and will do its bit to help with the economic recovery of not only the Highland Region but Scotland and the UK in general.
The photo shows the tanker Shannon Fisher leaving Inverness during lockdown and was taken by Doug Grant of the Port of Inverness.