PD Ports has opened its doors to over 250 primary school children across the Tees Valley this week as part of its continued commitment to positively promoting maritime careers.

Welcoming Year 5 pupils from six schools across Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar, PD Ports hosted a week of Teesport Explorers visits for children to gain an insight into potential future careers during a visit to one of the UK’s largest and most progressive port groups at Teesport.

As part of the innovative programme, initially launched by PD Ports pre-pandemic, the children benefitted from video resources, interactive activities at the company’s modern harbour office right at the foot of the iconic Transporter Bridge, and a guided tour around Teesport to meet some of the key people that make PD Ports what it is.

Kirsten Donkin, Head of PR, Marketing and Communications at PD Ports, explained why it is so important for businesses to play an active role in promoting their industries.

“At PD Ports, we have always been passionate about inspiring the next generation whether that be through our award-winning apprenticeship programmes or via our co-founded charity, the High Tide Foundation.

“Recently, we have been focussing our efforts on introducing the world of maritime to children as early in their education as possible as we know that has a greater impact and greater change of positively influencing their perceptions when making career choices.

“As Maritime UK’s Business of the Year, we have been delighted to spend Maritime UK Week actively promoting opportunities at PD Ports and would encourage any business who can to open their doors and do all that they can to inspire future generations.”

All schools under the Tees Valley Education Trust were invited to take part in the week of initiatives and CEO, Katrina Morley, was grateful for the opportunity provided by PD Ports.

She said: “Both Tees Valley Education and PD Ports recognise the importance that education and business working in collaboration has on our children and young people lives. The ability to experience a range of different employment pathways, go out into businesses to see what they do as well as meet the people there, means children can relate to and understand the opportunities open to them.

“In turn, this raises their awareness of life choices as well as inspires them because ultimately, to see is to believe. PD Ports generously share their sites, time and their stories with our children, investing in their future, their dreams and their life chances. If the African proverb of it takes a village to raise a child is applied, it takes a town and shared effort to raise all of our children.

“Tees Valley Education are incredibly grateful for this opportunity and look forward to continuing to develop our partnership, for the benefit of even more children.”

Maritime UK Chief Executive, Ben Murray, was delighted to have PD Ports’ support throughout the week. He said: “We’re delighted to have PD Ports’ support for Maritime UK Week. They have a great story to tell. Their fantastic programme of activity for the week will help ensure that our sector is engaging with local communities and helping to inspire the next generation to consider a career in the maritime industries.”

In addition to the school visits, PD Ports also hosted a dedicated visit for careers leads and college tutors to round off Maritime UK Week in a bid to showcase the range of qualifications on offer to inspire students to seek careers in the industry.