Connecting classrooms with careers across the Tees Valley.

24th, September 2019

Catching up with our Corporate Partners

We wouldn’t be able to carry out our work across the Tees Valley without the help of our fantastic Corporate Partners – Active, Intelect, Casper Shipping, PD Ports, Jacksons Law and Visualsoft.

News and PR

These businesses are a key part of our operation and support us in everything we do, from evolving our strategy to delivering life-changing experiences to our students and more. As well as supporting us, our partners are also thriving in their own industries with multiple award wins and honours under their belts. Here’s what they’ve been up to recently…


Active Financial Planners help businesses across our region protect and grow their finances and is one of the most well-respected financial planning firms in the North.

Managing Director, Karl Pemberton, has recently been named as chair of the newly formed Institute of Directors Tees Valley branch. On top of his work commitments and time spent helping our charity, Karl also takes on a lot of other fundraising work, most recently climbing Kilimanjaro in aid of MIND. It’s no wonder that Tees Business placed him seventh on their list of most inspiring business leaders.

Active MD Karl Pemberton.


Founded in 1997, Intelect aims to offer a high-quality engineering service to its clients. It is incredibly supportive of our work placement scheme and helps the young people of Teesside further by taking on a vast number of apprenticeships. This led to the business being named regional winner in the SME Employer of the Year category at the North East National Apprenticeship Awards in September.

The award-winning Intelect team.

PD Ports

As one of the UK’s major port groups, PD operate across 13 different locations and employ over 1,200 staff to handle its thousands of multi-national cargo shipments.

In September, PD Ports joined forces with The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Stockton Riverside College to launch the North East School of Shipping (NESS). The NESS aims to showcase the shipping industry and make it a desirable field for the regions young people. On top of this achievement, the team are also celebrating after being crowned Business of the Year at the Rail Freight Group’s annual award ceremony – a remarkable achievement in such a prestigious history.

PD Ports launching the North East School of Shpping.


For the past 20 years, Visualsoft has been helping retailers digitally grow their business through innovative design, development and strategic marketing. Through his own investment and the company’s work with High Tide, Founder and CEO, Dean Benson, has played a key role in changing the future of young people across Tees Valley. Dean’s efforts were most recently recognised when he was named in The Chronicle’s coveted ‘Most Influential List’.

Visualsoft founder Dean Benson.

Casper Shipping

Casper Shipping is the UK’s leading independent port agency company, utilising new technology and years of experience to make a positive impact on the regions shipping industry. Owner Michael Shakesheff was instrumental in the foundation of High Tide and has played a key role in the development of our work programmes.

The two businesses have recently joined forces again to launch the North East School of Shipping with The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Stockton Riverside College. Casper continue to make waves in the shipping sector, and now have a member of staff on the Institute’s controlling council. Nikki Sayer, Customs Manager, was appointed as the first female chair of the North East branch of the Institute in 2018.

Customs Manager Nikki Sayers.

Jacksons Law Firm

Founded in 1876, Jacksons is now one of the longest established law firms in the North East of England. The firm has received many accolades in the past and most recently Managing Partner, Jane Armitage, was chosen to sit on a panel of inspiring business leaders at the latest Tees Business Leaders Event. Over 100 guests attended the event, where Jane and other leaders spoke about their careers, achievements and inspirations.

Managing Partner Jane Armitage.

Thank you to all of our corporate partners for their continued support. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to change the lives of the young people in our region.

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