Local charitable foundation, High Tide has one again broken records, with a significant increase in student applications for their prestigious Summer Scheme programme.
With the aim to raise aspirations and job opportunities for young people on Teesside, High Tide Foundation have pioneered a number of industry-led programmes, with the goal of guiding youngsters into their desired careers.
Currently, the Foundation’s acclaimed Summer Scheme programme offers two-week work placements over the summer holidays to school leavers and college students aged 16-19, giving them the opportunity to kickstart their careers. Connecting both industry and education to provide invaluable skills for young, local talent, programmes like the Summer Scheme not only increase awareness of the port-related industries that sit alongside the River Tees, but they also highlight the many career opportunities that are available within our region. The scheme itself involves a mix of young people, including those whom are planning to go on to further study, as well as those seeking apprenticeships and employment.
Last Summer, High Tide reported increased numbers for both student applications and placements. After aiming to attract 50 students to participate in 2015, they gained 56, doubling their numbers on the previous year. This year, they have smashed records once again by doubling their numbers to 100 applications in total. This is a huge accolade for the Foundation and they aim to take through 75 individuals, if not all, with the support from local businesses to accommodate the higher number of applicants.
All students will have the opportunity to embark on a two-week placement with two different companies throughout the summer. This means that they are in need of 200 weeks’ worth of work experience placements from existing industry members, as well as new businesses on Teesside that may be interested in pledging their time to the scheme.
To be able to help the rising number of students applying for programmes such as this one, the Foundation has had to design, develop and fund some of their own additional placements, with the help of local businesses, to pick up the slack. With two brand new opportunities, including a London Law placement that provides students with a 3 night trip to the capital to tour law firms, insurance companies and The Royal Courts of Justice; as well as Engineering Week that takes students on tours of companies such as Caterpillar and PD Ports; they are creating valuable ways in which to broaden their support.
High Tide Coordinator, Lauren Bywater is keen to secure these placements so that she can fulfil the applications of the students who have applied to take part this year, saying, “We currently have over 60 companies on board with us as Industry Members, so if each of those members offered three placements, we would have more than enough to offer our students.
“To offer valuable placements that can help towards supporting the large number of students we now have coming through High Tide, we have also had to create a couple of our own placements, such as the London Law trip and Engineering Week. We are now urging businesses that are already members of High Tide, and ones that are new to what we do, to help us fulfil the student placements over the coming Summer holidays.”
Students who have applied to take part in this year’s Summer Scheme are interested in multiple roles; from catering, law and engineering, to shipping, and many more; and are wholly committed to the time spent developing their skills within a suitable placement in their own time over the summer months.
Most students that have applied for the opportunity of work experience through High Tide have previously not been given an opportunity like this, due to their schools cutting work experience in the past. This means that the responsibility to fill this gap falls on organisations such as High Tide to continue helping these youngsters through work-based placements.
“Some of the students that have applied this year are desperate for work experience, as they are 18 years old and have never set foot in a workplace environment before. We believe that experience is vital for them to kickstart their careers so we are pledging for businesses in the area to help us support them.
“Getting involved with High Tide could be a fantastic opportunity for companies who are looking to take on trainees or apprentices, as many of our candidates are already career focused and ready”, Lauren added.
If you’re interested in offering work experience placements to High Tide, or you’d like to get involved in other ways, please contact Membership Coordinator, Kim Upex on 07710713314, or firstname.lastname@example.org.