As part of National Apprenticeship Week, PD Ports' HR Director, Russ McCallion, has been speaking out about the opportunities apprenticeships can bring to young people and how they can lead to achieving great things.
PD Ports has been providing apprenticeships at Teesport for over 14 years, seeing around 70 young people start their careers in a number of different vocations including engineering, dock operations and administration.
"Apprenticeships are vital to our business to ensure we continue to build a sustainable and resilient future for PD Ports and our customers," said Russ. "It also presents huge potential for fresh new ideas that stimulate innovation, drive growth and encourage positive change.
"As a leading player in the UK port sector and a large employer in the North-east, we see it as our duty to inform young people of the career opportunities available to them through apprenticeships in the maritime and logistics industry.
"There is no limit to what you can achieve starting out in life as an apprentice - in fact some of our senior management team began their careers as an apprentice. It's as much about having the right work ethic, personal motivation and commitment to succeed as it is about qualifications."
In 2015 three Teesport apprentices, Jack Ford, Daniel Emmerson and Drew Reader, completed their four-year apprenticeship programme in mechanical engineering.
All three apprentices gained excellent academic qualifications which included an NVQ level 3 and HNC in their specialist areas.
Although Jack has decided to pursue his career elsewhere, Daniel and Drew are now employed as full time engineers at Teesport.
In an effort to progress further, Drew Reader is continuing his academic studies starting a degree course at Teesside University. This will take four years and when complete, Drew will have a BEng in Mechanical Engineering.
Speaking of his decision to pursue an apprenticeship with PD Ports, Drew, said: "I decided to take an apprenticeship after talking through the options with my family. They gave me an insight into what it would involve and the great opportunities it could bring whilst also getting paid.
"I wanted to work with PD Ports as I felt the size and scale of the business, as well as all of the equipment at Teesport, would help me gain a lot of valuable knowledge and experience.
"One of the best things about my apprenticeship is being able to earn a wage and still further my education. I get a lot of support from the team with my college work and in the workshop with the physical tasks.
"Choosing an apprenticeship has been the right decision for me and I hope it will help me to further my skills and ability to progress a career at Teesport."