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Port of Tyne apprentices have embarked on training at South Tyneside College under a new partnership to boost the careers of young people across the North East and invest in the talent of the future.

The first seven have started one-day-a-week college studies to run alongside their full-time work in jobs throughout the port.

Five employment areas - security, marketing, business administration, port operations, and warehousing - are being covered, with more to follow later this year.

The exciting link with the college forms part of a new initiative through which Port of Tyne will treble its apprenticeships this year.

To ensure apprentices are equipped with the skills they need, college lecturers are providing essential support by helping them work towards recognised qualifications while learning ‘on-the-job' skills outside the of classroom.

The apprentices are Amy Adams, 26, Andrew Harkins, 21, Benjamin Brown, 19, Jack Lloyd, Alex Everett and Phillip Gordon, all 18, and Shannon Teasdale, 16.

Shannon will train alongside Philip, who is also learning warehousing and storage, Andrew in security services, Amy in business administration, Benjamin in marketing, and apprentice port operatives Jack and Alex.

Lindsey Whiterod, South Tyneside College's Principal and Chief Executive, said: "It's really good to see the first apprentices from this exciting partnership with the Port of Tyne taking their places at the college.

"They will work towards qualifications which perfectly match the job training they will get at the port. This combination will set them in great stead for the future.

"This link between the college and the port is a clear sign of the understanding that exists that skilled young people are key to the future of the local economy. Therefore ensuring they are fully trained and qualified is vital.

"I am delighted that we are working together to ensure that more and more young people have access to these fantastic training opportunities."

The apprentices have been given a guided tour of the college, which included viewing the Marine School's state-of-the-art high tech ship bridge simulator for the training of mariners, to show them the world of opportunity that awaits.

They are expected to spend between one and two years at the college on apprenticeships that range from two to four years.

Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne's Chief Executive Officer, said: "Last year the Port invested almost £1.3m in training and development. Launching the biggest apprentice programme in our history is also indicative of the way we aim to support our local community and in particular young people.

"As a major employer we're committed to helping more young people in the area get a foot on the ladder to work."

An established apprenticeship programme forms an important part of the college's commitment to working with regional and national employers to train young people and plug an acknowledged skills shortage in some industrial and business sectors.

Julie Sloanes, South Tyneside College's Work Based Learning Manager with responsibility for expanding apprenticeship provision, said: "We are very excited to be working with the Port of Tyne and look forward to this being a long-term relationship.

"A good apprenticeship is a balance between work experience and gaining qualifications, and that is what we are collaboratively providing these keen and enthusiastic young people.

"As well as the simulator, the students were shown all other areas of the college. Being here is about being part of all of college life."

In total the port is recruiting 13 apprentices, by October the college expects to have taken six more under the rolling programme, training them in accountancy, engineering and port operations.

The new impetus for apprenticeships follows the port's long established programme for engineering apprentices, which has been on-going for many years.

The port, which employs about 450 people and last year invested almost £1.3m in training and development, has highlighted the region's 10.8 per cent unemployment rate as one reason why it is so committed to improving skills and employment chances.


For further information please contact Lorraine Schapira or Gareth Crickmer, Yellow Dog PR Tel: 0845 340 4161 or 07540 722 653.


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