Pathfinder Personnel manager Keeley McConnell has been with the company for nine years and has seen its expansion into a provider of port services manpower throughout the UK.

Initially joining as a recruitment consultant, Keeley now oversees the recruitment and management of agency labour that supports the handling of roll-on/roll-off and cruise ships, plus other vessels, at ports including Southampton, Liverpool and Portsmouth.

It’s a varied role that is integral to the successful handling of large volumes of cargo and passengers at some of the UK’s major ports.

Keeley explains: “Making sure that we have the right number of people in the right place at the right time is a considerable logistics challenge. The fact that we do this in ports at opposite ends of the country adds to the challenge.

“When I joined Pathfinder we had a small office in the middle of Southampton. We’ve grown significantly and our current head office location in the port of Southampton reflects the fact that nowadays we are focused primarily on the maritime sector.

“It puts us at the cutting edge of UK trade and we need to gear up for the peaks and troughs that are part of the sector. Besides getting people in place, we have to ensure they are trained and aware of the environment they are working in so that means getting the quantity and quality of our workforce right.

“Nowadays, there are plenty of women working in the maritime and ports sector, playing an important role in helping to keep trade and this valuable part of the UK economy moving.”