Lessons in logistics have proven an inspiration to Stockton Riverside College student Chris Allon, with the 19-year-old from Middlesbrough bringing home a national title.
Named Logistics Student of the Year, supported by PD Ports, at the Career Ready 2020 Awards, Chris said: “I am shocked as I didn’t expect this at all. Just to be nominated was amazing but to win, I am left without words.”
He signed up to be a part of the college’s Career Ready Logistics Academy last year, an initiative that aims to raise young people’s awareness of careers in the industry.
The programme offers students the chance to learn about logistics alongside their full-time courses, by taking part in a series of masterclasses, site visits, internships and the opportunity to work with a mentor.
Working closely with employers, the project has been a launchpad for further opportunities to help plug sector skills gaps with the development of the Tees Valley Logistics Academy, serving the training needs of the industry.
IT student Chris said: “Logistics is something I knew a little about as my dad is a HGV driver, but there’s so much more that I wasn’t aware of.
“The academy has a lot of practical elements to it and I am quite a practical person, so I took a lot from it.”
Combining his passion for IT with his newfound knowledge, Chris said: “It is amazing how much IT is used in logistics, there’s so much technology involved it is unbelievable.”
Working with a mentor, Richard Booth, from Cockfield Knight, based on AV Dawson’s Port of Middlesbrough, and carrying out a work placement at PD Ports, he said: “It was just such a great experience and everyone was so supportive.”
Career Ready is a national charity that works with educators and employers to help young people kickstart their futures. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the annual award winners were announced at a virtual ceremony.
Nominating Chris, Stockton Riverside College’s work based learning manager, Ruth Cabourne, said: “I nominated Chris because of the growth I saw in him throughout the whole Career Ready programme journey. He was quite quiet in the beginning but you could see that little spark coming through. On his internship and with the work he did with his mentor, it was clear to see that he really shone.
“I am over the moon that he has been named the national winner. In your eyes your student is always the winner, but to have someone else recognise that achievement, on a national level, is really rewarding.”
Career Ready’s regional manager Jen Kitching said: “The programme gives students the opportunity to experience the world of work and enables them to make better informed decisions about what they want to do in the future. It is a real endorsement of the programme to see Chris become a national winner, I can’t tell you how proud I am of him.”
Chris is now studying cyber security at Coventry University in Scarborough.
This is not the first time the college’s Logistics Academy has received national recognition at the Career Ready Awards with a student named a national finalist in the Logistics Student of the Year last year and Ruth Cabourne titled Santander UK National and Regional Employability Champion.