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Next generation

Our engineering graduates are told our future is in their hands

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Twelve budding engineers are starting their careers with us after rounding off three years of hard work with a graduation ceremony in London.

The apprentices stepped up proudly to receive their certificates from national operations director and former engineer, Simon Barker, who emphasised how the future of Royal Mail will depend on engineering.

‘The opportunity for our company now is to really grow in our parcels operations,’ said Simon. ‘We need to turn what is a manual process, into an automated process.

‘We’ve got 37 mail centres that we need to automate. All are slightly different in terms of size, complexity and cultures. Our job as engineers is to try and bring all those things together. So, our future is in your hands.’

The new graduates are a diverse bunch, from school-leavers to career changers. Matthew Vick, the youngest of the group, is the third generation of his family to come through the scheme.

‘It was a happy accident,’ he said. ‘My dad would talk about the apprenticeship occasionally, but it was only when it came to leaving school that I started asking him about it. I love cars and mechanical things, so it just fell into place.’

Matthew has a contract to start work as an engineer, and has aspirations to become an engineering team coach.

On the other end of the spectrum, Samantha Clare realised she had some transferable skills that would serve her well as an engineer.

‘I have a science background and I’ve always been quite interested in how stuff works and comes together,’ she said.

‘I’ve previously worked in television and for an internet service provider among other things. It’s been difficult, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.’

She is hoping to secure a contract soon and wants to work in parcels, ‘to stick with where the business is going rather than where it has been’.