Middlesbrough-based PD Ports has welcomed a new member of staff to its 1,000-plus strong team, following his successful completion of a programme delivered in partnership with Stockton Riverside College and the Tees Valley Logistics Academy.

Michael Chapman was studying a BTEC Level 3 in Electrical Engineering when he decided to attend a workshop with the Logistics Academy, an initiative that PD Ports was integral to developing.

Selected from a group of five students that interviewed for an initial internship, Michael spent four weeks at PD Ports’ Warehouse Operations in Billingham. During this time, he learned about the different skills required to work in a high profile warehouse and was involved with the Taylors of Harrogate contract, a company best known for its award-winning Yorkshire Tea.

Chris Leonard, Contracts Manager at PD Ports said: “I was impressed with Michael’s enthusiasm and conscientiousness during his internship. So much so, the company offered him an apprenticeship so that he could continue to develop his skills and become a long-term member of our warehousing team.”

Michael completed his Warehouse Operative Apprenticeship with distinction in March 2019. He learned various skills including gaining fork lift truck licences, how to use the Red Prairie Warehouse Management System, working within confined spaces and fumigation awareness, in addition to RoSPA and BRC Food Safety training.

Phil Dorn, Logistics Coordinator at Stockton Riverside College, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity for Michael who had already shown his enthusiasm and commitment to learn and develop by taking part in the College’s Career Ready Logistics Academy programme. During his apprenticeship with PD Ports we have seen him grow in professional confidence, but what has struck me most is the depth of his knowledge around products and processes.”

Since completing his apprenticeship, Michael has been offered a full-time Warehouse Operative role at PD Ports. He will be tasked with becoming more independent in his duties and demonstrating consistency, as well as having the maturity to help coach and support other new starters.

Frans Calje, CEO at PD Ports said: “We’re delighted to welcome Michael to the company permanently. We have a firm belief in nurturing local talent and keeping it here in the North East, which will secure our future workforce and also support the thriving businesses in the Tees Valley. Michael is one of many apprentices that have joined us on a full-time basis and we look forward to seeing him progress.”

PD Ports fully supported the establishment of a Logistics Academy at Stockton Riverside College, initially instigated in conjunction with Think Logistics, a part of the Career Ready Charity. The Academy is managed through a Local Advisory Board, chaired by Jim French of PD Ports and comprising members from the College, Career Ready, other logistics companies, retailers and manufacturers using logistics services and the local authorities.