PD Ports is not just at the heart of the nation’s trade; we are at the heart of communities. In many areas, these are communities that have long confronted major challenges. On Teesside, the demise of steel making is one of the most recent examples. But, by working together, we have risen to that challenge. Today, PD Ports employs more people on Teesside than before the closure of the SSI Steel plant in 2015. This has been achieved by investing and adapting to attract new business and to seize new opportunities, and by remaining committed to supporting young people.
We recognise that the next generation will pave the future for our business, and understand that it is vitally important that we continue to equip them with the skills and experience needed to do great things for our industry.
Since our apprenticeship programmes started back in 2001, we have kept our promise to nurturing young talent. Today we employ 31 apprentices across our business with the under 30s now accounting for 20% of our total workforce.
We have continued to support the High Tide Foundation, which, co-founded by PD Ports in 2012, aims to raise aspirations and create employment opportunities for young people on Teesside. High Tide, alongside our work with the Tees Valley Logistics Academy, delivers unique and meaningful work experience programmes and internships which focus on getting young people out of the classroom and into workplaces; providing unique opportunities for students to visit businesses, experience the world of work, understand the job roles and meet the people behind them. Our programmes build career knowledge, awareness and experience with a key focus life skills including confidence building, resilience and developing networks.
In 2020 we will launch our biggest recruitment drive ever to employ up to 50 new apprentices. But we’re determined to do more and to actively encourage other businesses to step up, get involved and back our country’s nation’s young people. In these extraordinary times, it is a duty we must fulfil for our communities, for our region, and for the nation.
We’re looking forward to working with valued partners to achieve our goal: overcoming the COVID crisis to give our young people the bright future they deserve.