Apprenticeships in Express final mile round table

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A hot-house set of keynotes on last mile express delivery to door, from free recruitment at Heathrow to sortation level two.

Great warmth for the new sortation apprenticeship.

Guests voted for block release at manager degree engagement with Univ West London

IOC CEO Tracey Worth was surrounded by HR directors, ‘This is Christmas shopping for next generation

The Institute of Couriers delivered a virtual 90 mins of magic, three streams of focus, big levy spend on manager degree (L6), free recruitment preparation via SWAP JCP intro and attendees warmly received the new sortation apprenticeship (L2) for PAYE in the hub. Everything HR teams needed was at the table as peak explodes. An emphasis on levy, opportunity, your new workforce and building your existing teams with on-the-job activity training.

Attendees voted: block release took priority for express manager degree students, with a start date set - May 4th 2022. Four candidates and you spend almost £100k of levy, it's delivered in a carbon-neutral environment with rich access to lifelong learning by means of road, rail and tube.

IOC chair and Trailblazer express group secretary Carl Lomas set the scene...

This round table is about opening your eyes to dedicated express sector apprenticeships, Express is about mail, parcel, food, everything final mile. Education is a core value at the heart of the IOC, hence the formation of a courier trailblazer group. The Trailblazer group, courier became express at the IoD round table when Justin Moore, John Nolan and John Stockton spoke retail in the lens to use the term express. A healthy trailblazer group driving operator content, vehicles, routes, postcodes. Knowledge skills and behaviour underlined with a first time every time ethos. Express delivery operative, for the frontline driver came first, a phase two submission that went live 2020 as the last piece of the jigsaw arrived with the EPAO. In a year almost 500 starts. IOC built 4 workbooks for delivery on the job, interactive with top tops, candidate feedback and lots of Q&A, finished with revision notes for the EPA. The degree for managers came second, not just next day but same day, parcels and food. Following the workbook is a text-book again built with operator contributions. Sortation the next step aimed at the core PAYE roles, defining shifts and flexibility. Then with lockdown, answering a need for new workforce. A short course, an introduction to our sector, getting candidates ready for interview, again a work book, that work book builds to a step to apprentice and beyond. The qualifications are in place, operators have built them, it's time for the sector to embrace and use the work they have contributed.

Take a look at the whole apprenticeship round table detail online in recording,

Below we bring you the outline of keynotes, the agenda and then POB for the full detail of each keynote.

Practical reality was in the discussion. How do you sign up apprentices? who with? and what’s this on-the-job training hours all about? A post-peak solution for your sortation teams. Hot off the press, a sortation level two apprenticeship has gone before the DfE IFA route panel last week. Complementing the existing Express delivery operative apprenticeship, sortation focus is on small parcels, operating belts & chutes, dealing with jams and errors, everything in the sortation shed in a twelve-month on-the-job training platform that’s paid by your Levy tax. Candidates are likely to be able to start on this programme as soon as January 2022.

Express Manager degree apprenticeship goes live with University of West London at Easter 2022. There is lots to focus your levy on. Four manager candidates clears a hundred thousand pounds of your levy and delivers from day one as focus targets KPIS for first time every time delivery. Janet University of West London explained the three year on-the-job training for express manager, it's delivery material built by you - the employers in our sector. The three year course follows a draft new text book for express manager written by the Inst of Couriers. Its chaptered to the sector. Defining next day, same day, capacity and customer promise from linehaul between depot to same day in the City. Customer promise match to service of final mile. West London University detailed the chapter titles to review the reality of training engagement in the courier workplace, networks and next day with same day future to look at the triangle maps of national, regional and town courier operators aligned to Govt vision for key worker status.

Free recruitment tool to prep new candidates for their express final mile job interview. - LSA West Thames College spoke sector work academy programme for your recruitment. A match between Job Centre and knowledge to prepare final mile workforce from driver to sortation for interviews in the Heathrow hotspot, it's free and brings a level playing field to your interviews. Candidates arrive with a vision of what stream of work and shift they are trying to achieve from driver to sorter. Hot off the press news: Innovate UK are developing an online version of the short intro to express course that will be available nationwide,

Sortation apprenticeship for PAYE teams in the hub begins Jan 2022 - Lifetime Training, the UKs biggest apprenticeship provider were on the virtual round table to outline the options for levy-funded apprenticeships at level two.

Sortation will be ready for delivery Jan 2022. Lifetime showcase the brand new sortation qual for your next generation workforce on the chutes and sorters and explained the delivery training plan for the twelve-month course, layered with the job role, starting on load to chute, then sortation actions, following progression to dealing with package damage, managing chutes and sorters, clean, reporting belt speed and failure to steps forward to shift manager roles, maintenance of sorting equipment. The presentation included detail on the training plan and how the knowledge and skills follow the role, from package arrival to loading belt, sorting and priority, maintenance to fault finding. Working in teams identifies shift patterns and out of regular hour workloads.



Carl Lomas IOC chair – ‘Levy and its fit to express final mile’

The Trailblazer education group for express chaired by Justin Moore

Degree Apprenticeship, Janet Rowson University of West London

Recruitment – SWAP short intro course to Express via Job Centre - Jasmine Matthias

Level 2 Apprenticeships in Express – What is levy and express apprenticeship. Tracey Worth IOC explained the training plan and on the job learning in the workplace for the new sortation level two apprenticeship for your PAYE hub teams. Starts are likely from January 2022.


POB Package on Board for the Detail...



Keynote One – ‘The Express degree apprenticeship’

University degree for Express that uses levy and is ready Easter 2022

A degree in Express logistics for next generation managers

Sign four candidates and use almost £100k of your levy allocation

A level six apprenticeship degree standard passed by the IFA. A level six text book is nearing publication. Starts are expected to begin Easter 2022 with University of West London. Start date target is May 4th . The University is already working with Heathrow, Ocado, Met Police and over 180 employers. Janet Rowson explained, ‘Retention is strong, 95% of degree apprentice candidates stay the whole course with the same employer, promotion is the only reason to move, that promotion is almost always with the same employer. Express manager delivers an hons degree but it needs to engage the candidate.’ In a vote by guests at the round table, block release was the favoured engagement style. Univ West London, easy access, M25, road and rail with strong tube links, in the heart of the Heathrow Logistics hot-spot. The L6 course is levy funded using £22k for 36 months, four candidates and you allocate almost a hundred thousand pounds of your company's levy.

It's not set in an academic year, it's set to match sector and avoid peak. The Express manager degree content was built by you as operators, it's on-the-job vision, works around peak, adds knowledge skills and behaviour. The Express Manager Degree is aimed at shift managers aspiring to depot manager. Technical detail from mail licensing to linehaul sits around same day content for postcode density and route volume in and between cities.


Occupation of an Express logistics manager:

The advent and rapid growth of internet-generated sales have created demand for a new breed of logistics professional able to locate and deliver goods to precise and demanding delivery specifications. This degree manager Standard sets out the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to become a fully competent Express Delivery Manager in the technology-led, fast-paced, 24/7 world of express sortation operations. These are not the traditional skills of warehouse management and vehicle fleet management, but the skills of data analysis, key performance indicator-based management, real time business planning, time-critical decision making and innovation in route planning.

The chapter outline of the draft IOC text book delivers the picture of the three year learning plan to be delivered by the University of West London. At the core of the introduction lies the fundamental question that outlines our sector, ‘What is this thing we call express?’ The introduction learning focus is next day with a strong same day context of evolving sector, pandemic impact, key worker, critical infrastructure, on time, every time.

Defining the Logistics Service Provider from National, to regional and city same day, The triangle map of line haul linked depots for coverage all the way from Highlands and Islands to same day, same hour medicals.

Customer promise, time of delivery and apps, client chain choice of e-retail to step beyond 'no goods available'. Competitive pressure to same day and same hour. Delivery network bandwidth, rural and city density rounds. Operating capacity as routes diversify. Urban density for maximum concentration, first time every time, leave safe and solutions to delivery reliability and speed.

The chapter titles define the three-year learning evolution of Express Manger Degree


This thing we call Express logistics:
Logistics Service Providers LSPs
Courier, final mile, last mile.
The customer promise in final mile
Client chain
Competitive pressure
Delivery network bandwidth
Operating capacity
Urban density
Delivery reliability & delivery speed
Evolution to same day.


Chapters defining the three-year route to Express manager Degree, the steps to make a shift manager prepared and ready for depot management.



Keynote Two – ‘The recruitment tool that’s free.’

A free recruitment tool in the Heathrow logistics hot-spot to find and prepare your new generation final mile workforce.

Case study call from DfT

Improving Training and Employment - to map routes into training and employment in the transport sector, identify barriers and opportunities to overcome them, and to identify and share best practice

West Thames College answered the call. Then delivered the keynote of detail as below to the IOC September apprenticeship round table.

The solution for you is introducing a new generation to express transport with support of JCP funding, employer guaranteed job interviews, in the heart of a logistics hot spot at Heathrow.’

With the outbreak of lockdown, final mile delivery to the door was exploding in number as express delivery key workers got delivery to door, keeping people safe at home. Tens of thousands of new generation workers stepped into Express. A sector rich in apprenticeships but of whom many individuals have limited knowledge of the diversity of the roles available, the flexibility of work hours and the locality match to close to home

How do we explain our sector to new generation workforce?
A sector rich in flexibility, but secret even to the transport world
A short course to prepare individuals with a knowledge of express final mile, last mile, next day and same day.
Aligned with JCP and delivered by a local college
West Thames College in the heart of Heathrow logistics hotspot
Candidate workbook of 6 units, what is express, what are the job roles, what are the worker status opportunities? Then practical moments on parcel size and volume mixed with a basic geography of delivery and an introduction of postcode.
The short course is free to candidate and free to operator
It's dependant on the core value that a guaranteed job interview lies at the end
A successful set of trials completed with DPD
It's time to move from trial to full delivery
It's like a free recruitment too;, a preparation for interview in express.
We need employer operators to sign up to the guaranteed job interviews

Heart of the course to explain the availability and flexibility of roles in express transport, the Inst of Couriers worked with Job Centre Plus, JCP DFE, to rapidly develop a short 4-week introduction course to transport. Bringing knowledge to individuals who were unaware of the route opportunities available to them. The IOC worked with JCP Alex Farkas, (national lead in logistics) to develop a SWAP, Sector Work Academy Programme fully funded. The trial programme was delivered by West Thames College through their Logistics Skills Alliance platform at Heathrow. IOC Tracey Worth explains, ‘Heathrow had many individuals out of work as airside struggled at the start of and during lockdown. While there is an awareness of express final mile logistics the course takes the opportunity to bring knowledge of the diverse roles from sortation to delivery, and the flexibility of different shifts and worker status that opens availability of work for many people, with alternative work patterns to the normal 'nine to five'.

The course brings access to the knowledge of an exploding sector in need of workers, of which inclusion for all is readily delivered. The short course looks at geography and postcodes for delivery to the door. Has practical content on parcel volume, weight, and size with support for number understanding. The course considers all parcel networks and linehaul (trunking routes) through to small package sortation (SPS). Understanding customer service protocols relative to the availability and match to different network hubs. Customer service at door, failed delivery and getting every delivery right first time, every time with variations of safe leave and safe place deliveries.

Tracy Aust, principal at West Thames College explains the guaranteed job interviews. ‘The ‘Introduction to Express logistics’ SWAP course is supported with guaranteed job interviews by DPD, every candidate completing the four-week course at the college, receives an interview from a DPD senior manager. The interview is for a wide variety of roles in the express final mile sector and the opportunity to move into the apprenticeship level two Express Delivery Operative is also offered’.

The ‘Introduction to Express’ short course is workbook based, it is made available in a hybrid learning model both online and in the classroom with Covid safe distancing and has guest industry speakers, a screen collage on the college multimedia labs helping to engage candidates to the job roles available in Express.

On-line version of the short course to go nationwide with Innovate

Charlotte Bosworth, Managing Director of Innovate Awarding, an Ofqual regulated national Awarding Organisation and End Point Assessment Organisation comments ‘ Innovate Awarding are working closely with the Institute of Couriers to develop a regulated qualification online version of the introduction course to be ready by Easter next year, expanding opportunity to a wider national audience in the ever expanding final mile world of home delivery


The course covers six units of knowledge:

Knowledge and behaviour units:

U0 Roles in Express. Sortation in the depot - Delivery on the road - Calm under pressure
U1 What is the last mile. Different express delivery services – What goods get delivered.
U2 Express Delivery company structure. How you work in express – employed and self-employed roles.
U3 Delivering quality. Mission in Express
Skills and job activity units:
U6 Learning and maintaining UK geographic and local road network knowledge to plan and check routes; road map reading; use of satellite navigation and postcodes to locate addresses.\
U7 Numeracy required to calculate load weights, dimensions and pricing schedules, assessing the dimensions of internet-generated returns.




Keynote three ‘the sortation apprenticeship at level two.’

Sortation apprenticeship for Jan 2022 and the hub PAYE teams

More than five hundred final mile candidates have signed up for the express delivery operative.

The next stage was an apprenticeship for the PAYE teams in the sortation hub.

National Provider Lifetime Learning in the mix for first online delivery.

IOC Tracey Worth explained, ‘A further level two apprenticeship has been written by the Trailblazer in Express employer group chaired by Justin Moore of OnIt Logistics. Submitted to the DFE IFA route panel in Sept, signposts for launch in January 2022 are strong. Lifetime Learning is set to be first at the door to deliver and Innovate are organising on the End Point Assessment.

The sortation apprenticeship runs over twelve months, based on the job with real time learning from dealing with chutes and belts to sorting damaged or lost letters and parcels in the sortation system. As the candidate develops, dealing with sort errors and cleaning systems is evolved in the learning.

A Training plan for the twelve months follows the sortation candidates journey of evolution in your workplace. Modules are sliced up in process, from parcel arrival, identifying goods, loading to belts, sort and priority to maintenance, faults and reporting on the chutes. Tracey explained the plan detailed below.

The course is paid by levy, free to the candidate, engages retention, skills, knowledge and behaviour, starts are expected to begin January 2022. It's time to sign up and benefit from an apprenticeship built by the sector for the sector.

ST0753 Express Delivery Sortation apprenticeship level 2 Training plan.


The Express delivery landscape. - Concept of last mile, range of service and roles

Postal regulation. - Service and obligation

The Sortation Hub – Place in Express and industry best practice

Parcel Weight volume and service choice – Matching item to service and cost

Parcel Arrival – Manual handling, automated techniques

Identifying goods – Labels, ADR, dangerous goods

Load to belt. – Operating sort machinery, chutes, York rollers, drop bags, mail bags, cages.

Sort & Priority – Using sort equipment, dealing with returns

Maintenance. – Cleaning, maintenance, sort cycles, flow.

Faults & Reporting – Basic sort jams, escalating sort problems.

Contingency plans. – Incidents and emergencies in the hub

Health & Safety. – Legislation and communication.

Working in teams. – Shift patterns, equality and diversity.

Security & Data Protection. – Integrity, theft and threat, data.


Tracey summarised, ‘It’s a 12 month programme, knowledge skills and behaviour taught on the job, often in the workplace, budget at four thousand pounds per candidate paid for from levy tax and delivered by a training provider such as Lifetime Training who operate nationally.