A cohort of 11 PD Ports employees are celebrating after successfully graduating from their Chartered Management Degree Apprenticeships (CMDA) at Teesside University.

PD Ports partnered with Teesside University International Business School in 2018 to deliver the bespoke course as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to attracting, retaining and developing talent.

Four years later and CEO Frans Calje OBE expressed his joy at seeing the first cohort graduate and explained why courses such as this are vital to building a successful future for PD Ports.

“I am so delighted for each and every one of our people who have graduated from their various courses this year,” said Frans. “It fills me with great pride that we have a team that are so ambitious and committed to continuing their personal and professional development.

“We are incredibly proud of the relationship with have with Teesside University and truly believe the course that we have created enables us to build strong succession plans for the people that will shape the future of our business.

“By investing in our people we can not only enhance the abilities of employees to carry out their current roles but also give them the skills they will need in the future which will, in turn, ensure that PD Ports is able to continue to grow and adapt.”

The CMDA is an industry driven course that combines excellent business education, work-based learning and professional development to support the growth of people currently in management level positions.

Given the opportunity to learn theoretical knowledge to underpin the practical skills developed whilst carrying out their daily roles, the cohort included individuals from a variety of functions across PD Ports including Bulks, HR and Compliance as well as a range of locations including Head Office, the Teesport Estate, Hartlepool and Groveport.

One such graduate, Len Overton, Operations Manager, said: “The opportunity presented to me by PD Ports to continue my academic journey at Teesside University 30 years after my last classroom lesson was not only a surprise, but a real show of support and intention from the company to enable its employees to reach their goals and believe that anything is possible.

“It also made my mum, and the rest of my family incredibly proud for which I will be forever grateful!”

Fellow classmate and colleague, Craig Morgan, Compliance Coordinator, said of his experience: “Continued professional development of ourselves, both professionally and personally, is of incredible value to any business.

“Not only have I benefitted from numerous courses throughout my time at PD Ports, but I have also been fortunate enough to benefit from having several mentors who have helped to shape my professional skills and competence along the way.”

Warren Harrison, Dean of Teesside University International Business School, said: “The success of this course demonstrates our commitment to working with partners in industry to develop flexible training solutions which meet their needs.

“I am delighted to see the first cohort of CMDA students from PD Ports successfully graduate and look forward to continuing our relationship with other fruitful collaborations.”