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PD Ports was delighted to once again sponsor the Logistics Student of the Year Award at the annual Career Ready Awards yesterday evening.

The national awards, which took place virtually this year due to restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrate young people who have excelled on the programme, volunteers who have made an outstanding difference and schools who are committed to help young people prepare for the world of work.

Kirsten Donkin, Head of PR, Marketing and Communications at PD Ports said, “We are seeing some incredible talent emerging from the Career Ready programmes which is very encouraging.

“Now, more than ever, is an uncertain time for the nation’s young people and we have a duty to work together as employers and training providers to open up the hidden sector that is logistics.

“I am delighted to see the incredible efforts of everyone who was shortlisted both as mentors and students – all very deserving of recognition and praise”.

This year, Teessider, and former Logistics Academy student, Chris Allon was crowned Logistics Student of the Year and we caught up with him after the virtual ceremony…

Q – Congratulations Chris, how does it feel to have won the award?

A – Well I’m quite surprised to be perfectly honest! When I got nominated that was a great moment in itself, but to find out that I’d won was just absolutely unbelievable. I really did not expect it.

Q – While you were studying with the Logistics Academy, you were offered an internship here at PD Ports within our IT department, how did you find your experience?

A – It was absolutely brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed the four weeks that I spent at PD Ports. I learned so much and was able to put a lot of my knowledge that I had learned at college into practice.

Q – You were also assigned a mentor, Richard Booth, from Cockfield Knight, who are based at AV Dawson’s Port of Middlesbrough. Did you find this beneficial?

A – Yes, Richard was very supportive with everything that I was doing. He encouraged me to go into each of the different departments within AV Dawson, who are in the logistics industry, and he showed me how they actually utilise IT. It really showed me the bigger picture of how their large scale IT infrastructure keeps the whole place going.

Q – How did you find your experience with the Logistics Academy?

Thoroughly enjoyable! There was constantly a new challenge, I was never left wanting more really it was just absolutely brilliant.

Q – Do you think programmes like the Logistics Academy are important for young people in our area?

Definitely. It gets people more involved in the logistics sector and obviously that’s a massive part of Teesside, which some people don’t realise. It was one of those experiences that you’ll never get again, a once in a life time experience, so being able to do it is just fantastic.

Q – What would you say to a student who was looking to work in the logistics sector?

I would say it’s an absolutely lovely work environment, I met so many supportive people through the multiple experiences I had, and I got so much out of it thanks to the Logistics Academy. It’s really worth it, and I would recommend it to anyone.

Q – What are your plans going forward?

I am currently studying cyber security at Coventry University, Scarborough, and then after university, I’ll maybe look for a job within the logistics industry. You never really know quite where you’re going to end up but it would be nice to come back to Teesside!


Michael Duffey, Head of Construction & Professional Services at Stockton Riverside College, was thrilled to hear Chris’ news. He said, “It’s great to see Chris gain national recognition for his work with the Logistics Academy, and Career Ready, both of which are based here at the college. He has been a delight to work with and is a fantastic ambassador for Stockton Riverside College”.


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Award Winning

PD Ports awarded Gold Status from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for its commitment to health and safety excellence for the third consecutive year.

PD Ports - RoSPA Award Winner 2023