k2e Pilots DGV Apprenticeship with CWU and Royal Mail to Send Positive Message to Workforce
(Posted on 01/04/19)
kickstart2employment (k2e), in conjunction with the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and Group Llandrillo Menai (GLLM), has piloted a successful Driving Goods Vehicles Apprenticeship at Royal Mail Centre in Chester.
The Lead Union Learning Representative (Lead ULR) at the CWU has previously run a similar apprenticeship programme in both England and Wales before but had encountered a number of challenges. When the apprenticeship funding rules were adapted to include existing employees aged 25 and over, the CWU Branch North Wales & Marches Lead ULR then sought out new funding and delivery partners.
At the outset of the collaboration, GLLM outlined the importance of diagnostic testing of applicants along with the mandatory Essential Skills Wales assessment, which would ultimately provide the best possible outcomes for those selected to participate. In doing so, we were able to produce structured lesson plans and targeted support packages to aid the progress of each individual learner.
Once selected, the candidates were enrolled on the Driving Goods Vehicle Apprenticeship Level 2 pathway, which was best suited to the fleet of vehicles used by the Royal Mail. To support the development of each apprentice, the CWU Branch North Wales & Marches provided laptop or PC access within its dedicated learning centre.
As with most courses that are tailored to suit a variety of candidates, typical challenges included shift patterns and depot locations. Initially, getting the apprentices together proved to be difficult and it was clear some needed more support than others. k2e overcame these issues by using an assessor to deliver IT skills and a dedicated tutor to ensure the apprentices attained their essential skills qualifications. Some of those who required additional support successfully completed the course before the rest of the group, which was testament to their dedication and desire to succeed.
Commenting on the success of the pilot, Adrian Prins, North Wales & Marches Branch Lead ULR said:
“All the apprentices gained a thorough understanding of the logistics industry through 1-2-1 sessions; an approach that enabled us to find out how they were coping. The improvement and new found confidence in their abilities led to one being promoted within the organisation even before completing the practical driving test. The rest of the group are now identifying potential new positions within the Royal Mail and are looking forward to increasing their skills and earnings when they apply for new roles as they become available. The commitment shown by the delivery team ensured that despite initial teething problems, the pilot was run very smoothly. As a union, we were delighted with the attitude of each apprentice and the success of the programme as a whole.”
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