A GROUP of students have had their eyes opened to new career possibilities thanks to a recent voyage with a foundation.

Tees Valley-based High Tide Foundation, which aims to expand young people's horizons to the area's diverse career opportunities through real life work experience, took 12 students from the region's academies to the Netherlands on its annual Port to Port visit to understand the roles and possibilities available in their hometowns.

General manager for the foundation Lauren Bywater said: "Through our work experience programmes, we discovered that many students lacked confidence and independence, not wanting to venture outside their hometown for work, and often turning down opportunities we provided.

"This made me want to demonstrate how many business people travel frequently for work without having to move home - a very common occurrence particularly within maritime - which is how the Port to Port visit developed."

The five-day excursion included visits to local businesses, towns and factories to help the students from Hillsview, Unity City and Nunthorpe academies understand the variety of jobs available as well as experiencing other cultures.

Lauren said: "We are so grateful for our partners P&O Ferries, Tata Steel, Loodswezen and Huntsman, which facilitated some eye-opening experiences from a first sea voyage to watching steel slabs being made.

"These experiences, which also included a stay in a 13th Century castle, helped the students to come out of their shells, try new things and support each other."