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Nearly 150 employees of express parcel carrier City Link complete new twelve month apprenticeship programme

The pioneering initiative, believed to be a first for the sector, focused on developing the skills of a range of employees from front-line staff right through to potential managers.

The ambitious scheme has not only given employees opportunities to develop their own abilities but has also helped them spread good practice across the business and instill City Link’s "right first time" ethos in teams across the business.

The apprentices have worked towards NVQ qualifications, Level 2 for drivers and warehouse staff and Level 3 for managers, with training provided by an internal City Link training team.

Initially offered to existing employees only – a total of 146 have completed the programme to date. However this year it will also be rolled out to 80 new recruits between the ages of 18 – 25.

All of the course materials are linked to City Link’s business and the apprentices have undertaken a mix of classroom based workshops, assignments, activities and experiences. The front-line course also includes an emphasis on literacy and numeracy skills.

Much of the training takes place on the job. For example, Warehousing & Distribution apprentices go out with a City Link driver and work a nightshift at the central sortation hub in Coventry to get a flavour of how their own roles have an impact on other parts of City Link’s operation. The Warehousing & Distribution NVQ, which takes 12 months, includes health and safety, picking and moving goods, checking stock levels and supervising the receipt, storage and dispatch of goods.

The NVQ Level 3 in Leadership and Management is more class room based and also lasts 12 months. On top of the basic modules around leadership, coaching, self-management, working with others and commercial awareness, apprentices will work on their own personal development plan and prepare a coaching plan to help develop their own team.

Scott Maynard, Human Resources Director of City Link, said: "We are extremely excited about our apprenticeship scheme which will build the capability of the business and give employees the opportunity to progress their careers in the business.

"To have such a high completion rate is just fantastic and we’re really excited about the plans to extend the scheme to school and college leavers this year. We feel it’s really important in today’s economy to give young people a chance to get on the first rung of the career ladder.

"This is a programme which, we believe, is unique in the sector demonstrating our continuing commitment to invest in both our people and the business to provide the best possible service to our customers."

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