Since co-founding the High Tide Foundation four years ago, the charity has worked with more than 4,000 young people who have been introduced to 65 local private sector companies.
The North-East has some of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the UK, suffering significantly lower levels of aspiration and attainment amongst the next generation of workers. Recent government statistics show that within England the North-East has the highest proportion of NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) at 16 per cent.
Through High Tide’s unique work-experience and industry-led skills programme, which were praised by HRH Prince Charles in a letter of support, PD Ports aims to enlighten its potential future workforce about the varied careers in the maritime industry that are right on their doorstep – from engineering and crane operations to warehouse logistics and riverbed surveying.
The charity’s renowned summer scheme offers 16 and 17-year-olds a two week industry placement with the opportunity to sail to a European port on board a working container ship. There has been a staggering 200 per cent increase in the number who signed up for the 2015 summer scheme compared with the year before.
Prominent High Tide members involved include AV Dawson, Bond Dickinson, CAM Air Freight Solutions, Emirates, Esh Group, Nifco, Sabic, Better, MPI Offshore, Lotte Chemical and Ithica Films.
Increased visibility of life inside Teesport has led to more people applying for jobs, last year PD Ports employed 14 under 21s, providing many with a trainee or apprentice position to kick-start their careers. With an average employee age of 43, the fresh intake is helping the company tackle its ageing manpower and plan for the future.
More than 50 PD Ports employees from 15 different departments have got involved with High Tide since the innovative scheme was launched with Casper Shipping. Staff across the group, which has a 1,250-strong workforce, are encouraged to take part in Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives ranging from classroom mentoring to helping local chosen charities.
The SHD Logistics Awards will be announced on September 15 at a ceremony at the Vox Centre, Resorts World Birmingham hosted by comedian Katherine Ryan. The event celebrates excellence within logistics operations which demonstrated best practice and extraordinary achievements.
PD Ports’ CEO and chairman of High Tide Foundation, David Robinson, said: “We are delighted to have made it to the final as we take our corporate social responsibility very seriously. As one of the region’s largest employers we are passionate about investing in the area’s young people to give them a bright future and help them realise that they don’t have to move away from Teesside to find a fulfilling job.”