Connecting classrooms with careers across the Tees Valley.

3rd, November 2015

Our Port-to-Port Trip to Rotterdam

Last month, we took a group of students on a trip to Rotterdam to see how our partner companies work across the channel.


On October 19th, 12 youngsters from schools across Teesside, including Grangefield Academy in Stockton on Tees, The Kings Academy in Middlesbrough, Laurence Jackson in Guisborough and Dyke House Academy in Hartlepool, embarked on the journey as part of our Port-to-Port programme; which is a unique and life changing opportunity for all involved. We ran this particular scheme in 2014 and because of it’s great success and the feedback that we received, we decided to make it a permanent feature within our roster of available opportunities for schools and colleges within the region.

High Tide students on port to port trip to Rotterdam

The trip itself entails visiting companies in the UK to learn more about their industry and the types of careers that may be available within that field. Once they have experienced how business works on this side of the pond, students then depart on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a European port to learn about operations and industrial links between the ports. The trip takes place over two days and also consist of site visits, company presentations and river trips. As these places are very limited and work on a first come, first served basis, the youngsters who take part are very keen to get involved and savour the experience.

high tide students on port to port trip to rotterdam

Leaving from The Port of Hull with P&O Ferries, who were kind enough to provide free accommodation and food for the entire group both ways, the students were very excited for what was in store. As their first calling point, they visited Huntsman in Rotterdam, which is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. It was here that they learned about how the company works and it’s position within the market. The Huntsman visit itself was organised by two ladies named Birgit and Monika, who were absolutely fantastic. The group sat for a presentation in one of their extravagant meeting rooms and were introduced to company representatives, Hester and Renee, who took them for a tour around the site. The sheer size of it captivated everyone’s attention immediately. Hester was an English lady who was a total inspiration to the students. She spoke about how she successfully built her life in Rotterdam and the students had plenty of questions for her.

High Tide students on port to port trip to Rotterdam

They also made a similar visit to TATA steel, where they had the opportunity to take a tour through the hot strip mill to see the entire process of how they create their steel. It was so hot in there that the students couldn’t believe the heat. It was here that they were given headphones to listen to their guide, Arnold, who explained what happens at the plant in great detail.

Another highlight of the trip was visiting a traditional market town named Zaanse Schans, where the students witnessed how clogs are made, and what an experience it was! The students also got their picture taken in huge clogs, which they loved!

Lauren Bywater, Coordinator at High Tide said of the trip “The kids really enjoyed themselves over the two days and it was great to see them take an interest in the topics that were being discussed. I genuinely feel that some of the students will progress towards a career in these industries. We are grateful to have businesses support us in educating youngsters like this and giving them the opportunity to learn through experience.”

Students take a trip to Rotterdam with High Tide
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