Tackle skills gap with port apprentices

08 Nov 2017
PD Ports Teesport

Last month, three new engineering apprentices began work at PD Ports’ Teesport site

PD Ports is urging employers to help plug the engineering skills gap by offering apprenticeships.

To mark Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, (6–10 November), the company is highlighting the value young people can bring to businesses as the UK Department for Education statistics revealed a 61% year-on-year drop in new apprenticeships.

Russ McCallion, HR director at PD Ports, said: “We are using Tomorrow’s Engineers Week as a platform to highlight the importance of apprenticeships and to urge businesses across multiple sectors to support the next generation of young people.”

More investment needed

Mr McCallion stressed that “skilled apprentices are vital building blocks in a progressive, innovative and resilient business” but claimed more employers need to invest in young people, to help meet the demand for 186,000 people annually with engineering skills by 2040, according to projections from the University of Warwick and EngineeringUK.

Last month, three new engineering apprentices began work at PD Ports’ Teesport site.

Before the end of the year, PD Ports, which has offered apprenticeships for the last 15 years, will recruit a further 13 apprentices across disciplines including engineering, human resources, accountancy and transport & logistics.

Fewer apprentices

Mr McCallion commented: “52% of our engineering team started their career with PD Ports as an apprentice, which is a very clear demonstration of our long-term commitment to providing young people with high quality career opportunities.”

Between May and July, the number of new apprentices across the UK fell from 113,000 to 43,000 year-on-year.

The Apprenticeship Levy was introduced by the government on 6 April 2017 to help fund three million new apprenticeships by 2020. It requires all employers with an annual pay bill of £3m upwards to contribute 0.5% of this to help fund apprentice and training schemes in the UK.

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