It isn’t that long since Stockton teenager Toni had never even heard of logistics.
For her it was an industry that she took for granted and didn’t realise it was something that was happening all around her.
Yet today the Stockton Riverside College business student is in the running for the national Logistics Student of the Year title.
Headed to the glittering Career Ready 2019 Awards in London, she will be joined by the college’s work based learning co-ordinator, Ruth Cabourne, who has been named regional winner of the Santander Employability Champion of the Year for the North of England and Wales.
“I felt a bit numb when I first found out, then I felt excited and nervous,” said former North Shore Academy student Toni.
For her, signing up to the college’s Logistics Academy Career Ready programme alongside her full-time studies, had been something well outside her comfort zone.
Launched to help raise young people’s awareness of the industry and the opportunities within it, the enrichment programme at Stockton Riverside College and SRC Bede Sixth Form enables students to take part in a series of sector-based masterclasses and site visits, to work with a mentor and undertake an industry placement.
“When I started college I wasn’t really open to new challenges,” said Toni. But there was something about the academy that caught her interest and she decided to give it a go. For her it has had a massive impact.
“It has really helped me,” she said. “I am more confident and I have a much better idea of the business choices out there.”
She said, working with a mentor and taking part in a four-week internship with PD Ports, gave her a real boost, so much so in fact that she added: “Now I know that I would like to work in the sector. And, having worked with a mentor I would like to be able to do the same for someone else one day.”
The Career Ready Awards celebrate the achievements of the organisation’s students, volunteers, employer partners and schools, recognising individuals who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to the Career Ready programme.
The Career Ready Logistics Academy at Stockton Riverside College now forms part of the Tees Valley Logistics Academy, a service created to meet the training needs of the sector and raise awareness of logistics among young people.