Young people from across Teesside have embarked on High Tide’s second annual Summer Scheme, a programme designed to help prepare them for the world of work over the summer holidays.
Launched in 2013, the Scheme offers 16 and 17 year olds the opportunity to undertake two weeks of work experience with different businesses in and around Teesport.
This year the Scheme has doubled in size, with 32 young people on placements with 18 different employers.
“We’re really pleased that the success of last year’s programme has not only meant that the number of students applying has risen significantly, but that more businesses have stepped forward to support it,” commented Kevin Shakesheff, High Tide’s chairman and boss of Middlesbrough-based Casper Shipping. “We know that this kind of programme can really boost young people’s chances of future employment, and by providing them with a structured experience alongside other young people from across the area, we believe that what we are offering is quite unique”.
Also unique is the opportunity for some of the youngsters to travel on a working container ship to St Petersburg: courtesy of Finnish logistics company Containerships Ltd Oy, two boys and two girls will each spend 11 days en route to Russia’s second city and back, via Rotterdam, Helsinki and Riga.
16 year olds Ben Cutter of Marske and Lewis Threadgill from Redcar set sail from Teesport on July 20th, and will be returning to Teesport at the end of the month.
“Ben was thrilled to be selected for the voyage”, said mum Jackie Cutter “I can’t tell you how much he was looking forward to the whole experience and to gaining such an amazing insight into life at sea”.
Other students on the programme will be working with employers such as Wilton Engineering, LV Shipping, PD Ports, Recyc-Oil, AV Dawson and Bulkhaul, gaining a first hand insight into two different businesses during the course of their placements.
“We are very grateful indeed for all the support we’ve received from Teesside companies in scaling the programme up this year,” said Mr Shakesheff “We know that the young people who are participating will benefit enormously from that support”.
In September, students who have successfully completed the Scheme will come together for a special ‘graduation’ event at Middlesbrough Football Club’s Riverside Stadium to celebrate their success.