David Wilson, HR Development Manager, PD Ports, and Chris Malyon, Director of Sales and Marketing, DSV Road Limited, on 2 May told attendees at a Multimodal Exhibition seminar on staff recruitment and retention that the training and recruitment schemes they had implemented over the past few years had proved a huge success.
Last August, the company took on 12 university graduates – 10 in DSV Road Limited and two in DSV Solutions Limited – for its sales teams and since February last year it has recruited 24 apprentices for a variety of roles, from customer service to warehouse operatives. Both the apprentices and graduates attend training programmes, with apprentices leaving with an NVQ qualification, and to date, all 12 of the graduates are still working at DSV, while 18 of the apprentices are still at DSV and four have been placed in full time positions.
Mr Malyon said: “It’s maybe too early in the process to say we would only recruit graduates in the future, but it would certainly take a lot of consideration to recruit anyone other than graduates into sales positions for DSV Road Limited in the UK.”
He added: “Meanwhile, the apprentices are highly motivated and well trained individuals. Also, we have the benefit of gaining members of staff that will seize the opportunity to train and move up through the organisation. So there are certainly a lot of benefits to these types of scheme.” Mr Wilson said PD Ports had created a two year foundation degree specific to the ports industry and its business in particular to help secure its workforce of tomorrow. So far, 30 people had participated in the scheme, which involves external lectures, work placement and internal training.
The North East UK ports and logistics company had also created a dock operator apprentice scheme in conjunction with local organisations which prepares the unemployed for work and, if they successfully complete an interview, take part in an 18 month apprentice scheme at PD Ports.
Mr Wilson said: “Our dock operator apprentice programme was specifically designed to offer job opportunities to those who are long term unemployed or who have never worked.
“Teesside has one of the highest levels of unemployment in the country and some people join the scheme from families that are third generation unemployed. As a consequence, the company wanted to offer these people an opportunity before they became part of the lost generation.” Both Mr Malyon and Mr Wilson agreed that staff training was also important, as it helped to increase retention of staff by creating progression within the organisations. It also proved to customers that both companies took customer service seriously. Both companies had recently set up hugely successful training programmes – DSV Road Limited has run a Sales Academy, while PD Ports has set up a health and safety passport scheme and a dock operator NVQ Level 2 programme.
About PD Ports
- PD Ports Limited is owned by Canadian based Brookfield. Brookfield is a global asset manager focused on property, renewable power and infrastructure assets, with over $100 billion of assets under management. PD Ports was bought by Brookfield in November 2009.
- PD Ports is a high performing specialist ports business offering a wide variety of supply chain services to improve customers’ international product and material movements into and out of – as well as within – the UK.
- PD Ports employs over 1200 members of staff, and generates an annual turnover of over £115 million from many UK locations.
- PD Ports operates throughout the UK from bases at many key ports and logistics centres.
The 3 business interests of PD Ports are:
Port Operations– is split into two business streams – bulks and unitised and includes:
- Teesport: one of the top 4 UK ports, with flows of containers, bulk traffics and finished cars, handling almost 40 million tonnes of throughput p.a.
- Humber & Small Ports: owners and/or operators of ports on the Humber estuary, Rivers Trent and Ouse, and at Medina Wharf, Isle of Wight. Service offerings include ships’ agency, chartering and stevedoring services.
- Logistics: PD Logistics offers warehousing, recycling and distribution services at UK locations throughout the North East, Humberside & East Anglia, including at Felixstowe.
Development plans for port operations include:
- The Northern Gateway Container Terminal: a major new deep sea container terminal planned at Teesport on the South side of the River Tees. The £300+ million development will have a capacity of 1.5 million TEU (twenty foot equivalent unit) and is anticipated to deliver over 5, 500 jobs to the Tees Valley, when fully operational. Circa 1, 300 of the 5, 500 new jobs have already been created through portcentric logistics operations in the past four years.
- Portcentric Logistics: a concept promoted by PD Ports for locating the storage and distribution of imported goods close to the point of arrival at a UK port. This concept avoids the slow handling and return of empty containers as well as eradicating unnecessary UK road mileage, which occurs when delivering to a traditional inland import centre, such as in the Midlands.
In 2006 ASDA WalMart opened a 360, 000 sq ft import centre at Teesport and has saved more than 8 million road miles by adopting the portcentric concept. Adjacent to the ASDA facility, Tesco operates a purpose built 1.2 million sq ft import centre at Teesport, which opened in 2009. Tea and coffee specialists Taylors of Harrogate opened a purpose built warehouse facility at Teesport Commerce Park on the periphery of Teesport in 2010 to handle its UK imports.
Conservancy – this includes:
- .Management of river traffic for the ports of Tees and Hartlepool, ensuring safe navigation and maintaining the required channel depth.
Property– this includes:
- Revenue and income from property and facilities owned by PD Ports and used by third party clients on long term leases.
- Land that is not utilised for operational purposes and offers potential for development.
- Port land at Hartlepool docks, which is highly attractive to the growing renewable energy sector, including offshore, windfarms, and biomass plants.
PD Ports’ long term strategy is to further develop Hartlepool docks as a centre of excellence for the offshore support sector