PD PORTS’ CEO David Robinson has been appointed new chairman of the High Tide Foundation, a charity aiming to raise the aspirations of young people in Teesside which the award-winning port and logistics company co-founded.
Over the past five years he has steered the growth of Teesport, the UK’s fifth largest port by volume, with investment of more than £80m and he is now at the helm of increasing job opportunities for young people within its supply chain.
Mr Robinson’s exciting vision for the future of the Foundation includes expanding to create a new automotive cadetship with Stockton-based car parts manufacturer Nifco UK and an airfreight cadetship with Emirates and Emirates Sky Cargo.
He is passionate about building on the success of the pioneering High Tide scheme which connects industry and education to increase awareness of port-related industries and its many career options available to teenagers from law to logistics.
So far more than 60 companies and 4,000 young people from over 30 schools have taken part in High Tide with a 200 per cent increase in the number of 16 and 17-year-olds involved in the 2015 Summer Scheme, compared with the year before.
Whether they are looking to go into higher education, get an apprenticeship or find a job, they spend valuable time with two different employers based in and around Teesport learning vital employability skills.
Some of the firms taking part in the scheme include AV Dawson, Bond Dickinson law firm, Casper Shipping, CAM Air Freight Solutions, Emirates, Emirates Sky Cargo, Esh Group, Nifco, NECC, Sembcorp and Sabic.
He said: "With so many of today’s young people lacking the necessary skills and knowledge to help support them on a fruitful career path, High Tide aims to open their minds to growing industries on their doorstep and demystify what the logistics sector is really about.
"PD Ports is aiming to be a major catalyst in supporting the growth and development of manufacturing in the North-East which is the only net exporting region in the UK and we need a skilled workforce to help us deliver that vision."
It also runs a six-week Cadetship after-school programme designed to introduce young people between the ages of 12 and 14 to the world of work, with a particular focus on Teesport and its role in the wider industrial community.
There is also a two-day visit to a European port as well as a new initiative designed to educate teachers by giving them a tour of the River Tees by boat as well as the vast Asda distribution centre at Teesport.
In 2012, David co-founded the High Tide Foundation with Casper Shipping and recently took over from Kevin Shakesheff at the end of his three-year term as the charity’s new chairman.
Mr Robinson added: "I feel privileged to have been selected as the new chairman of High Tide which has been a fantastic success story for Teesside as well as its young people and private sector businesses.
"I want to ensure that even more young people in the region are given the opportunity to have a very real and empowering work placement experience.
"I am looking forward to developing more exciting projects to boost future job prospects and be a key driver in regenerating the economy of the North-East.
"High Tide is a unique charity in a unique region involving competitive businesses working together.
"PD Ports co-founded the charity four years ago to inspire teenagers about their job prospects, we’ve been championing them ever since, and we’ll continue to do so very loudly."