PD Ports Group - The High Tide Summer Scheme

Inspiring Young Talent Award 2014, Big Tick, Reaccredited 2015, 2016.

PD Ports partnered with schools and other Teesside employers to address poor work experience and low awareness of opportunities in the area.

Social impacts

  • 16 young people from areas of high youth unemployment supported through 32 weeks of real life work experience with nine different employers.
  • Demonstrable positive impact on their aspirations and those of their families.
  • As a result of their experience on the scheme an overwhelming majority of participants (80%), said it helped them make positive decisions about their future career directions.

Business impacts

  • Improved relationships with customers and suppliers.
  • Improved local visibility and employer branding.
  • Reduction of future skills gaps and recruitment costs.

The High Tide Summer scheme is about giving young people in our region the opportunity to experience a very real and engaging work placement experience. The scheme is founded on the principles of engagement and collaboration both with young people and connected private sector businesses on and around the River Tees. The young people we target are those who wouldn’t otherwise have access to these kinds of opportunities and we hope that by broadening their horizons, we can open their minds to new possibilities and inspire them for the future.

- David Robinson,
Group Chief Executive at PD Ports
Teesside has some of the highest rates of youth unemployment in the UK and suffers from significantly lower levels of aspiration and attainment amongst its young people.

The High Tide Summer schemeinitiative seeks to address these issues for young people leaving school in the area.

As one of the area’s largest local employers, PD Ports has always responded positively to requests for work experience placements and site visits. However, this was generally on an ad-hoc basis, with requests typically coming from those who had some existing connection with the port or its employees.

Over recent years, it had become increasingly apparent that amongst school leavers who did not have an association with the company, awareness and understanding of the variety of opportunities that existed in and around the port has been almost non-existent.

At the same time, PD Ports’ average workforce age was 46 which threatened its long-term future, but they and other employers in and around Teesport face challenges when recruiting young people who do not have a sufficient insight into the world of work.

Additionally there is an almost universal absence of formal work experience provision amongst secondary schools in the area.

The High Tide Summer scheme offers school leavers on Teesside a two-week structured work placement (each week with a different employer in theTeesport area). It is specifically aimed at young people who would not otherwise have access to work experience/internships, providing them with an opportunity to gain an understanding of life in the workplace.

As well as providing an insight into the variety of careers available locally, it is a chance for the participants to earn a reference they can use on their CVs.