2011 marks the 10th anniversary since PD Ports first introduced its apprenticeship schemes, which over the 10 years has seen 36 young people celebrate their success. This most recent scheme however is the first of its kind at the Port, which over the 18 months of training will provide the 13 apprentices with a NVQ Level 2 in Dock Operations. Historically the apprenticeship schemes at Teesport have focussed on electrical and mechanical engineering trades.
PD Ports initiated the programme in conjunction with the Redcar Development Trust, whose aim it is to support and develop the local youth and their families who want to invest in their own future. From this PD Ports was able to identify 13 suitable candidates, ranging from 18-30 years of age and as a result, launched the tailor made apprenticeships.
David Robinson, PD Ports’ Group Chief Executive Officer, said: "This new apprenticeship programme is about raising aspirations of the young people across the region, whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills to master a trade. With the reopening of the Redcar Blast Furnace in the New Year and the subsequent increase in steel handling at Teesport, it is our intention to help create employment for the apprentices at the end of the scheme.
"As one of the largest employers in the Teesside area, PD Ports takes its responsibility for recruiting and training very seriously and is one of our Company’s eight core values. With the majority of our existing workforce at Teesport coming from within a three mile radius of the Port, it is vital for the longevity of our business that we invest in the region’s young people today," added Mr Robinson.
The apprenticeship scheme has been introduced just as the first group of 14 students finish their foundation degree in Leadership and Management (Ports), launched by PD Ports and Teesside University in 2009. The two year foundation degree was specifically designed for those working in the port industry.
It was delivered on a part time basis at the University with senior PD Ports employees giving practical examples of the theory the students were being taught. Of the foundation degree graduates, nine are continuing to study for their Undergraduate Degree.
Mr Robinson added: "We’re delighted to partner with the local University and offer a unique degree. Hopefully it has attracted more people to the University and it gives us great pleasure to train the next generation of port managers. This degree, along with the apprentice scheme, demonstrates our commitment to training and recruiting young people from the North East region, and further afield.
"As we move into 2012, we are looking to engage with the wider industrial community on Teesside to further collaborate on issues such as training and skills, and deliver greater prospects or work, employability and skills development in the area," concluded Mr Robinson.