Each September, the Business Transformation team welcomes a new cohort of trainees joining on a two-year development programme in project management.
The programme sees the trainees complete a Level 4 apprenticeship, as well as taking part in Royal Mail’s graduate leadership programme where they gain invaluable experience on projects impacting every aspect of the business.
The Level 4 apprenticeship has three core sections. The first requires candidates to successfully pass the three-hour APM PMQ (Association for Project Management Project Management Qualification) exam, which follows a series of remote learning sessions, and results in an external qualification being awarded.
The second is the portfolio stage, where candidates are required to put together evidence of work from their time in the business covering off 15 modules that show the fundamental concepts and principles of project management. This portfolio is independently assessed, and once a pass grade is attained, the candidate can progress to the final stage of the programme: an externally led ‘end-point assessment,’ which involves a presentation and professional discussion surrounding the portfolio submitted.
Royal Mail’s graduate leadership programme gives the trainees the opportunity to spend 17 days over the course of two years gathered with circa 100 graduates and apprentices from across the business. During these sessions, participants take part in a number of activities, ranging from talks from leaders such as Dr Liz Jackson MBE and Dave Bunting MBE, to interactive workshops with business actors who help to recreate the difficult conversations that are needed in a business environment.
The sessions allow participants to develop soft skills through a series of roleplay scenarios, where Royal Mail-specific situations are replicated. This helps to build confidence when working in a live environment and provides an opportunity to highlight areas they can focus their development on towards becoming future leaders in the business.
Since the turn of the year, the past three intakes of project management trainees have all seen great success. Thomas Morgan (pictured), Katie Timlin and David O’Domhnaill have passed their APM PMQ exams with flying colours. Thomas attributed his success in part to the ‘experience of projects with Royal Mail and the support of previous cohorts,’ while Katie noted that her achievements will ‘give a solid foundation to build a portfolio of evidence to progress through the apprenticeship.’
Charlie Lambert, Joshua Nadarajan, William Stone, Benjamin Green, Tyron Hewitt, Mohammed Rana and Sean Watson passed their internal assessments to successfully offboard from their respective development programmes. For them, this marks the beginning of their transition into the wider portfolio resource, but by no means the end of their development journey. Benjamin hailed the ‘huge variety of projects’ as a main driver behind his fast-paced development and described his pride in helping to ‘play a part in Royal Mail’s strategy.’
The development programme has been led for the past three years by business transformation portfolio supply & demand manager, Susan McCallum, who said: ‘I am extremely proud of each individual from of all of the cohorts past and present. They bring their unique personalities and strengths to the team and year-on-year they strive to improve the experience for the next cohort.
‘It’s a wonderful opportunity to be a part of the yearly intake. I would also like to recognise the support from the wider portfolio, from director of portfolio, Paul O’Keefe, to the central programme managers and their project teams, who have played a key role in the individuals’ development to date.’