Step change in recruitment for sortation

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 New apprenticeship delivers career route to front line express

Funded 12-month programme paid for by levy.

Sortation apprenticeship ST0753 – £4,000 funding band.

Starts possible in January. IOC textbook, IFA training plan.



IOC chairman, Carl Lomas comments,

Christmas comes early for Express logistics sector as Govt delivers the news that the next apprenticeship is ready. Aimed at the sortation teams in depot, it’s a fully funded 12-month apprenticeship, IOC have written a training plan and have a complementary textbook on the way. A 12-month learning programme on the job, built and developed by operators, gives a career path signpost for individuals entering our final mile, last mile sector that follows the sortation journey, from load to belt to sort for chute.


IOC chair, Carl lomas explains,

this looks set to step change recruitment for sort jobs as the sector provides an apprenticeship route that lays the foundations for retention with clear career progression for our front line sorters.


Monday 22nd November at 10am

IOC are calling HR and learning heads to a special virtual round table on Monday Nov 22nd 10am for 90 minutes, a full briefing of what’s on offer and how its delivered. Senior fellows are asked to get the zoom code to their HR teams for a must not miss event. Delivery will start as early as January.

Martin Keeves, DFE IFA,

I am very pleased to advise Inst of Couriers, that the new sortation hub apprenticeship is 100% fully approved. IFA are recommending a funding band of £4000, the same as express delivery operative. My sincere congratulations.


The new apprenticeship complements the existing express delivery operative apprenticeship that now has more than five hundred candidates signed up. Sortation will run over twelve months with candidates on the job as they learn. There is a detailed training plan to outline the order of delivery and the Inst of Couriers, with operator input, are working on a complementary textbook providing knowledge, case studies and question tests.

Justin Moore chaired the IOC education and apprenticeship operator group for DFE IFA.

At last month’s Express Trailblazer apprentice round table meeting Carl Lomas explained,

A further level two apprenticeship has been written by the Trailblazer 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 Training is set to be one of the first at the door to deliver and Innovate Awarding are organising 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 sorting errors and the cleaning systems is evolved in the learning.

A training plan for the twelve months follows the sortation candidate's journey of evolution in your workplace. Chapter modules are sliced up by process, from parcel arrival, identifying goods, loading to belts, sort and priority to maintenance, faults and reporting on the chutes. The plan is on the IOC web and headline details are below. The course is paid by levy, free to the candidate, engages retention, skills, knowledge and behaviour, starts are expected to begin January 2022.


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.


Take a look at the full training plan here V1.6


Take a look at the draft text book here, standard & assessment


The date for your HR team is set

Monday 22nd November at ten on Zoom

Tracey Worth CEO IOC asks senior fellows to get their HR and learning teams in the diary, to attend a free special briefing on the new apprenticeship.