Whistl employees embark on new Sortation Hub Apprenticeship

Rate this item
(1 Vote)
Dr Tracey Worth with apprentices Olusegun and Amber and Whistl boss Alistair Cochrane Dr Tracey Worth with apprentices Olusegun and Amber and Whistl boss Alistair Cochrane

A new workbook lens for on-job learning in express sortation apprenticeship.

Dr Tracey Worth, CEO at the Inst of Couriers was at Whistl to see the launch of their candidate groups on the new sortation apprenticeship.

She had a gift for the candidates - hot off the press, latest version ‘on the job learning IOC workbooks for the express sortation apprenticeship.’

In the workbook, the learning lens to candidate is based on job - it's interactive and in the real world of work - earn while you learn, learn well and progress in our sector of key worker critical infrastructure.

Ethos of the IOC work book for express sortation is hands on, it opens - ‘This is a career - get your protected boots and gloves, put your high vis on and let's go sorting.’



Express final mile, Sector showcase in Whistl Bedford to celebrate first candidates starting the Express sortation apprenticeship at Whistl.

Employees based at Whistl depots in Bolton, Bedford and Bristol are embarking on the new Level 2 Sortation Hub Apprenticeship that was developed in association with the Institute of Couriers. The existing employees have signed up to a yearlong course that will formalise on the job learning into a nationally recognised qualification.

Whistl was one of the ‘employer trailblazers’ that developed the standards for the new Apprenticeship which was approved this year. Funding for the apprenticeship comes from the Apprenticeship Levy. These apprenticeships will be delivered by Whistl’s training provider, Lifetime Training using the IOC workbook learning material.

Alistair Cochrane, Chief Executive Whistl said:

I was delighted to be part of the team contributing training material to the IOC workbook for this new qualification. This is an important qualification for the industry. It recognises the skills required to undertake the roles within our sector which are crucial for the functioning of the logistics sector in the UK.


At Whistl we are passionate about the careers of our employees and want to give everyone an opportunity to enhance their career through training and development. The Sortation Hub Apprenticeship is an important step for our depot-based employees. I look forward to following the progress of our 15 employees over the next year as they navigate the training modules for this course.

Carl Lomas, Chairman Institute of Couriers said:

This apprenticeship has been developed to follow every step of the depot process from arrival to sort and onto despatch. It will play an important role in the development of the careers of these apprentices within our industry “The Workbook accompanying this apprenticeship has been developed by the IOC members and we are delighted that graduates of this apprenticeship will qualify for Institute membership, further enhancing their career development.



The learning lens to candidate in express sortation.

IOC On job workbook, ‘this is a career - get your protected boots and gloves, put your high vis on and let's go sorting.’


Tracey Worth, IOC CEO explains how the workbook for the apprenticeship leads the learner journey. ‘The book is a handy A5 size and becomes the property of the candidate, the chapters are in learning plan order, starting with the question, ‘What is this thing we call Express?’

Chapters then follow the process order of goods in sort, from arrival behind the safety net to first entry on boom, then belt, carousel and sort, auto or hand.

Later chapters focus on compliance, working with others and ethos of quality on express logistics.

The workbook has interactive sections for candidates to make their own notes on local work practice, there are top tip sections for on job discussions with the supervisor and even question set summary areas to test knowledge of the learning.

Making the workbook universal to different operators there are learning questions on practices that vary between stations, depots and sort sheds. (whats the policy in your line area on tape for damaged parcels ect).

The methodology of the workbook relates to all four streams of express logistics, mail, parcel, food and meal delivery, for parcel the four size terms are made universal as small, regular, large and oversize. The learning lens to candidate for the on job workbook, ‘get your protected boots and gloves, put your high vis on and let's go sorting.’

Govt attending the showcase launch of candidates included DFT Phil Martin and DWP Carl Widdowson.

DfT Phil Martin,

Logistics numbers are growing in express, a career stairway provides signposting to the next generation of express logistics candidates, express is about getting from goods purchased with a click on the internet, to a knock at the door with the delivery. Candidates can choose between the streams of express from driver on the road to sortation in the deport. Express is not just about driving, its great to see these candidates today who have chosen the sortation stream.


DWP Senior National Account Manager, Carl Widdowson

I’m thrilled to have been invited to Whistl [today] to meet the first cohort of Apprentices and I congratulate them on starting their express sortation apprenticeships and wish them all the best for the future.


The DWP department helps with signposting individuals to Apprenticeships and traineeships via Work Coaches inside Jobcentres and supports the advertisement of Apprenticeships via the Find a Job portal. Helping recruitment, supporting large national employers and small and medium enterprises running Sector-Based Work Academies in the express sector.

2022 news oct whistl corporate orange whistle 700

Whistl is a £820m+ revenue, delivery management company that provides mail, parcels, leaflet advertising, fulfilment and contact centre services in the UK and internationally. Headquartered in Marlow, the Whistl group of companies operate across the UK, and handles in excess of 3.6bn items a year.