July 25 2019 @ 8:30 by Steven Hugill
Students were given an insight into potential new careers thanks to a voyage with a charitable organisation.
The High Tide Foundation took 12 students from Tees Valley academies to the Netherlands on its annual Port to Port visit to help them understand the roles and possibilities available in their hometowns.
The organisation works to expand young people’s horizons through real life work experience and its five-day excursion included visits to local businesses, towns and factories to help the students from Hillsview, Unity City and Nunthorpe academies understand various jobs and experience different cultures.
Lauren Bywater, High Tide Foundation general manager, said: “Through our work experience programmes, we discovered many students lacked confidence and independence, didn’t want to venture outside their hometown for work and often turned down opportunities we provided.
“This made me want to demonstrate how many business people travel frequently for work without having to move home – a very common occurrence particularly within maritime – which is how the Port to Port visit developed.
“We are so grateful for our partners P&O Ferries, Tata Steel, Loodswezen and Huntsman, which facilitated some eye-opening experiences from a first sea voyage to watching steel slabs being made.
“These experiences, which also included a stay in a 13th Century castle, helped the students to come out of their shells, try new things and support each other, coming back completely different from the apprehensive people we took with us.”
Lauren added the Port to Port programme’s success means the High Tide Foundation is now looking to expand it, having had offers from ports across the UK, Europe and Africa.
Layla Agiadis, a pupil at Unity City Academy, based in Middlesbrough, said the trip was a worthwhile experience.
“I didn’t understand the jobs that could be done without leaving Teesside as I always thought I’d have to move to a big city,” she said.
“It was amazing to see how far you could travel for your job and it has helped me to think about what I’d like to do with my future career.”
Wendy De Vos, communications co-ordinator at Huntsman Holland, added: “Being able to inspire the next generation is so important, which is why we work with High Tide to give young people the chance to just see the many great opportunities our industry can offer.
“It can be difficult to imagine so we show them.”