PD Ports teaches school children about logistics to attract future talent and plug skills gap
Date: 22/04/2016

PD Ports teaches school children about logistics to attract future talent and plug skills gap

PD Ports is helping to inspire the next generation employees at roadshows introducing primary school pupils to thriving North-East businesses on their doorstep.

The logistics division of PD Ports, PD Portcentric Logistics, took part in an ‘employability’ event today (Friday April 22) hosted by Tees Valley education centre, Inspire2Learn and Routes to Employment which offers independent careers information, advice and guidance to young people.

Year Five children from the Redcar & Cleveland area have been invited to attend one of five sessions being held over the coming months at Inspire2Learn’s base in Eston.

The nine and 10-year-olds learned about the careers in key sectors for employment growth where there are particular concerns about skills shortages in the Tees Valley over the next 10 years.

They were motivated by representatives from engineering, construction, logistics and digital technology industries at today’s presentation including Harry Dent, a driver from PD Portcentric Logistics in Billingham, who arrived with a tractor unit and trailer.

He talked about the varied career opportunities at PD Ports, the UK’s fifth largest port by volume which employs more than 1,300 people.

Jim French, Director of PD Portcentric Logistics and national chairman of the Road Haulage Association, said it was important to engage and inspire local school children. “I think the younger you can catch them the more chance you have of attracting them into the logistics industry.

“Nationally, the industry is worth £96 billion per year but it needs 1.2 million additional workers by 2022 and we are also aiming to encourage more women into the sector.”

“For the economic growth of the Tees Valley and the wider area, the port is vitally important as far as that is concerned.”

Mr French is taking a lead on the Stockton Riverside College-run Logistics Academy which delivers industry-focused masterclasses, mentoring and internship opportunities running alongside its full-time courses.

The academy was launched to help tackle the region’s logistics skills gap in conjunction with NETA Training Trust, Think Logistics and national charity Career Ready.

Michelle Elliott, Director of Business Development at Stockton Riverside College, said:  “It’s important to engage with young people to get them to think about what roles they want to go into.

“The event has been very hands on so children have been able to explore the vehicle brought by PD Portcentric Logistics and get a sense of what working in the sector is really like.”

Andrew Stogdale, Manager/Learning and Teaching Consultant at Inspire2Learn, added:  “The aim of the event is to keep children's eyes open to a multitude of possibilities because we know from research and our own experience as teachers that it is the age where many children begin to decide on what they definitely don't want to do in later life.

“It fits into the bigger picture of events aimed at a range of ages where younger students have their awareness and aspirations raised about the local possibilities and the older students also start to get more information about how to access these opportunities.”

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