A PORT operator has taken on eight apprentices to work as dock operators.
PD Ports, which runs Teesport, picked the youngsters from more than 60 applicants.
Bosses say they will take part in an 18-month apprenticeship programme.
Ahead of starting work, the company put them through their paces in a pre-employment programme with the 4th Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, at Middlesbrough.
The youngsters learned about camouflage, first aid, observation and map reading, and tackled an obstacle course at Marne Barracks, in Catterick, North Yorkshire.
Developed alongside Redcar Development Trust and the Army Reserve, the programme aims to get recruits ready for work by instilling self-esteem, boosting morale and encouraging team work.
Russ McCallion, PD Ports Group HR director, said: “We feel it’s important to provide an entry into the world of work for those who are hoping to become apprentices as it ensures they are ready to be committed to their career.
“We are fully supportive of this group and welcome them into our company.
“We will do all we can to ensure that they have every opportunity to secure permanent roles with us.”