Stockton Riverside College’s Phil Cook headed to PD Ports to try his hand at working life at Teesport, the UK’s third largest port by volume.
A former engineering apprentice himself, the visit marked a nostalgic return to the floor for the college boss who started his own career at 16 with the Royal Navy.
He said: “Although it is almost 24 years since I’ve been an engineer the reality is the skills I learnt and the knowledge I acquired during that time, along with the ethic of hard work and a focus on quality, has stayed with me,” said Phil.
During the visit Phil was shown the ropes by former apprentice and now PD Ports mechanical fitter, Daniel McDougal, 26, from Ingleby Barwick, and the firm’s apprentice electrician, Andrew Melton, 19, of Ormesby.
“The thing that struck me during the visit was how knowledgeable, committed, enthusiastic and happy the team are, they are clearly passionate about what they do and the business,” said Phil. The principal’s visit to the Teesside port, shipping and logistics firm, marked the culmination of a week of events at Stockton Riverside College to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week.
The national event celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
Delighted to have been given the chance to experience working life at PD Ports, Phil said: “It was fantastic to be able to spend time with a high performing, high profile business and to be able to learn new things.”
PD Ports CEO, David Robinson, said: “For any business, growth and success is without doubt linked to employees, which is why training and development programmes are so important. We need to be promoting, to young people, the exciting and varied career opportunities available on their doorstep.