Connecting classrooms with careers across the Tees Valley.

16th, May 2016

New Chairman to Drive Fresh Initiatives for High Tide

We’re very pleased to announce the appointment of PD Ports’ CEO, David Robinson, as new Chairman of the High Tide Foundation, as his predecessor stepped down after a successful three-year term.

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After co-founding the Foundation in 2012, PD Ports, an award winning ports and logistics company, has been very influential in helping to create job opportunities for school leavers and graduates in the region over the past four years. As previous Chairman of the charity, Kevin Shakesheff of Casper Shipping has relinquished the helm, Mr Robinson remains passionate about continuing the momentum that the Foundation has successfully built in its four years of operation.

Commenting on his new position, 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 become 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.”

This inspired appointment also leads to a shake up of the board of trustees and its structure going forward. With Kevin’s departure, there comes the joining of son and Managing Director of Casper Shipping, Michael Shakesheff, as well as the re-election of existing trustees to remain ambassadors of the Foundation, which is highly regarded in the area. 

PD Ports David Robinson Chairman of High Tide

Speaking of his appointment, Michael said: “Casper Shipping helped co-found the charity and it’s important for us to continue to play an integral role in moving the charity forward. The team at High Tide all have great ideas that I can’t wait to be a part of.”

Over the years, High Tide has been a beacon of hope for many youngsters in the search for recruitment. The Foundation has been hugely successful in pioneering many schemes that connect both industry and education to increase awareness of port-related industries and the career opportunities that are available alongside them.

Until now, more than 60 companies have pledged their support to us in the way of work experience placements. This has provided 100 young people from over 30 schools with the opportunity to get their foot on the career ladder and to broaden their skills for progression into their chosen futures. With a 200 per cent increase in the number of 16 and 17-year-olds involved in the 2015 two-week summer scheme, compared with the year previous, the Foundation is going from strength to strength. Whether they are seeking higher education, an apprenticeship or a job, these lucky candidates have the ability to spend invaluable time with two varying employers based in and around Teesport over the fortnight; learning vital employability skills.

The High Tide Foundation is proud to work with some of the best companies on Teesside, including AV Dawson, Bond Dickinson, Casper Shipping, CAM Air Freight Solutions, Emirates, Esh Group, Nifco, NECC, Sembcorp and Sabic; as well PD Ports and many more.

The Foundation has a truly exciting vision for the future, including the expansion of programmes that it currently offers and further new initiatives. These plans encompass a new automotive cadetship with Stockton-based car parts manufacturer Nifco, and an air freight cadetship with Emirates and Emirates Sky Cargo; with the aim to build awareness of the types of jobs that are in the region.

High Tide is optimistic about its future and is very much looking forward to working more closely with David Robinson and the board of trustees to continue pushing the Foundation forward, with a view to growing its numbers further.

Are you a business on Teesside looking to give back to the community by offering a work experience placement or apprenticeship? Do you think you could help us provide knowledge of your industry by offering your assistance through our many programmes? If you are interested in becoming a member of the High Tide Foundation, then please do get in touch.

Contact our Membership Coordinator, Kim Upex on 07710713314 or email

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