ROYAL MAIL – INTRODUCTION OF APPRENTICES IN HR SERVICES
Branches will be aware this week is National Apprenticeship week. It is therefore timely to report on a positive set of discussions with HR Services management regarding the introduction of an Apprenticeship programme across various specialist areas in HR Services including Pay, Pensions, Recruitment, Advice Centre, PSP Support and Learning in Pond Street Sheffield. It should be noted that this initiative is aimed at relatively new employees and replaces the previously agreed NVQ arrangements.
As a result of our discussions and a joint review, we have now reached agreement to introduce a series of Apprenticeship Schemes for approximately 28 existing members in HR Services. As you would expect, the various Apprenticeship Schemes will be run by qualified external providers.
We have communicated a Joint Statement directly to our members in HR Services via Royal Mail’s “Service Matters” publication. The JS is attached to this LTB for your information. We have also recently concluded the final plans specifically for apprentices within the Pensions team; however, due to the complexities in this area, this took a little longer to organise than in the other areas.
I am therefore pleased to report we have agreed to progress 8 members through the Workplace Apprenticeship in the Pensions Administration unit with the launch of this programme planned for 1 April. An addendum to the original Joint Statement has also been agreed to include the Pensions unit and is attached to this LTB. This addendum has been published in the latest addition of “Service Matters”.
Importantly, the approach agreed to the introduction of this Apprenticeship Scheme is aimed at up-skilling and developing current employees and therefore crucially the members’ pay and the contractual number of hours of work is fully in line with the Four Pillars Agreement which introduced for these grades a 34 hour net working week from October 2018.
A total of 28 apprentices are planned to be in place across the various functions in HR Services by next month including the 8 in Pensions admin. I’m sure Branches will agree this is a positive development and it is good to be able to report we have reached agreement with Royal Mail for them to invest in developing the skills of our members.