A return to the classroom has paid off for staff members from PD Ports. The team has been brushing up their business skills with lessons in management at Stockton Riverside College.
A special graduation ceremony at the college marked the culmination of their efforts.
The group of 30 staff stepped up to receive Level 3 and Level 5 CMI qualifications in Leadership and Management.
Supporting the staff all the way, PD Ports’ Chief Executive Officer Frans Calje said: “For as long as I have been part of the business the place never ceases to amaze me. Give these people the opportunity and they just fly.”
While he admits it might sound like a cliché, he said: “People really are our biggest asset. If you look at the business in terms of what we do, the people are what makes it all come together. If you miss out that bit, it will never work.”
He added: “To ensure we are always moving forward, training and development is extremely important at PD Ports and we’re proud to invest in our people to support their progression.”
The training courses at Stockton Riverside College provided aspirational workers at different stages in their career the chance to broaden their skills.
And by bringing people from across the business together the group was able to share experiences, develop a wider understanding of different operational roles across the company and then take all that they had learned back into the workplace.
Among those to pick up a level 3 qualification on the night, was PD Ports’ management accountant Janine Hilton. She said: “I was put forward by my manager to do the qualification because our team is growing.”
Delighted to have the company invest in her future development, she said: “It shows they feel you are able to add value back to the company.”
Richy Gates a team leader with the firm has successfully completed his level 5. He, like many of the group, has been juggling his studies around the demands of work and family life. He said: “It can be hard to find the time but I am glad that I have done.”
While shipping clerk Mark Braithwaite, who also achieved his level 5, added: “It is good to work for a company that is prepared to invest in you and help you to develop.”
Stockton Riverside College’s Head of Construction and Professional Services, Michael Duffey, said: “It’s a real pleasure to work with an organisation who are very much on the front foot when it comes to staff development and upskilling.
“It is reassuring for the local economy that a company such as PD Ports is prepared to invest in the leaders and managers of the future.”