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Home » Apprenticeships » Unlocking exciting career opportunities for women in logistics

Apprenticeships and technical education schemes are making logistics an ultra-attractive career proposition for female applicants.

Successful companies must be on a continual journey of discovery and reinvention, notes Zareena Brown, Chief People Officer at Royal Mail. “That’s why a young talent pipeline is so vital,” she says. “We’re on a mission to scale-up the numbers of young people coming into our business, because they help us shape the future with fresh thinking. We have a social role to play, too — a duty to help young people shine, whatever their background or qualifications. So it’s important to expand the type of career opportunities we offer.”

Brown also believes it’s imperative for any business to reflect the diversity of its customer base. One of the ways Royal Mail is doing this is by making logistics an appealing career for women.

A mix of practical and theoretical education with a salary

Take Carlisle-based Sophie Judge, who started an Engineering Apprenticeship with Royal Mail eight years ago. “I’d been the assistant manager of a swimming pool,” she says. “While I was enjoying the practical, maintenance side of that job, I didn’t feel fulfilled so decided to switch careers. The trouble was I’d been earning an income, so didn’t like the thought of getting myself into debt at university. Then I saw the chance to do an apprenticeship. That suited me because it’s a mix of practical and theoretical learning — and you get paid for it.”

After completing her training, Judge rose through the ranks in a variety of engineering roles and is now Engineering Maintenance Team Leader, overseeing the engineers responsible for repairing and servicing mail sorting machinery. It is a male-dominated industry, she admits — but that shouldn’t put off female applicants. “The guys here couldn’t have been more welcoming to me, and my views are as well-respected as the views of my male colleagues. Plus, increasing numbers of women are being recruited into engineering across the company, so it will be a more balanced picture in future.”

I didn’t want to go to university and was looking for job that involved working outside, so I thought the apprenticeship was an ideal way to earn and learn.

Laura Ludbrook

Career pathways that are open to people of every background

Ipswich-based Laura Ludbrook is at the start of her Royal Mail career, at just 16 years old. She joined the company in September as a Postal Apprentice, but things are moving fast. She now has her own delivery route and is also completing her studies towards the Level 2 Express Delivery Apprenticeship Standard. Plus she’s been chosen to be a company ambassador for next year’s National Apprenticeship Week.

Before becoming an apprentice, Ludbrook’s life couldn’t have been more different. “I’d been working with showjumping horses, but wanted a career change,” she explains. “I didn’t want to go to university and was looking for job that involved working outside, so I thought the apprenticeship was an ideal way to earn and learn.”

Ludbrook, who has her sights set on becoming a workplace coach, loves the variety of her job. Once her training is finished, she’ll be awarded her apprenticeship certificate. “But I’ll also have acquired different kinds of workplace skills such as time management and customer service,” she says.

Hands on experience and behind the scenes knowledge

A different pathway into the sector is open to graduates. For example, Teresa Murio Fernandez — who has a master’s degree in logistics and supply chain management — started on Royal Mail’s Logistics Graduate Scheme in September and is currently working with the Optimisation Team in Glasgow to ensure that mail trucks are being used at maximum capacity. “I’m getting hands on logistics experience, which is something I didn’t get at university,” she says. “I’m seeing behind the scenes at distribution and mail centres and finding out how the business is run.”

Murio Fernandez is also looking out for any internal apprenticeship opportunities that will give her the chance to continue learning, support her development and accelerate her career. “I would say to anyone thinking of joining this sector: ‘Go for it.’ It’s so multi-faceted, you never know where it might take you.”

Royal Mail are currently looking for LGV Driver Apprentices to train as part of our new 13 month scheme, if you have had your standard driving licence for between 2 and 5 years and are willing to learn what it takes to drive excellence and deliver to the nation, then you could be part of our next generation of LGV Drivers.

Please click here for details of our locations and how to apply

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