Business, Freight News

National Apprenticeship Week underway

[ March 15, 2016   //   ]

The Skills Funding Agency’s National Apprenticeship Week kicked off yesterday (Monday 14 March). According to new independent research for the Agency, company managers believe that having the right people and skills are ten times more important to expansion than access to finance.

It also found that that apprentice employers are five times as likely to rapidly expand their business. It also found that two thirds of managers in growing firms felt that hiring the right staff or having employees with the right skills was the most important factor in realising the company’s ambitions. (

Meanwhile Port of London Authority (PLA) chairman, Christopher Rodrigues has launched a new skills academy to facilitate the training of people to work on the river.

Addressing over 250 Thames stakeholders onboard the passenger boat, Silver Sturgeon on 15 March, including shipping minister Robert Goodwill, Rodrigues said that well-trained, skilled people are vital to making the most of the new opportunities

The recently created Thames Skills Academy (TSA), a new initiative by the PLA, Transport for London, Tideway (who are building the Thames Tideway Tunnel) and the Company of Watermen & Lightermen, will be established as a Group Training Association – a learning and skills partnership where employers subscribe to sector-specific off-the-job training in order to provide efficient, expertly-delivered skills that meet the River’s needs.

And in the North-east PD Ports’ human resources director, Russ McCallion, spokeabout 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.

Now a fulltime engineer with the company, Drew Reader is continuing his academic studies starting a degree course at Teesside University in mechanical engineering.

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