LSA West Thames College submit case study focus for DfT Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce (STAT) ‘pillar’

West Thames College submitted a case study in September 2021 to the DfT call for strategic transport apprenticeship taskforce pillar study, showcasing the unique West Thames College delivery -  matching jobs to workforce in the local geographic.



Case study call

Improving Training and Employment - to map routes into training and employment in the transport sector, identify barriers and opportunities to overcome them, and to identify and share best practice.

Showcasing transport opportunity to a new generation workforce with DPD

Introducing a new generation to transport with support of JCP funding, employer guaranteed job interviews, in the heart of a logistics hot spot at Heathrow.

With the outbreak of lockdown, final mile delivery to the door was exploding in number as express delivery key workers got delivery to door, keeping people safe at home. Tens of thousands of new generation workers stepped into Express. A sector rich in apprenticeships but of whom many individuals have limited knowledge of the diversity of the roles available, the flexibility of work hours and the locality match to close to home.

To explain the availability and flexibility of roles in express transport, the Institute of Couriers (IOC) worked with Job Centre Plus, JCP DfE, to rapidly develop a short 4-week introduction course for the transport sector, bringing knowledge to individuals who were unaware of the route opportunities available to them. The IOC worked with Alex Farkas at JCP (national lead in logistics) to develop a Sector Work Academy Programme (SWAP) fully funded. The trial programme was delivered by West Thames College through their Logistics Skills Alliance platform at Heathrow.

IOC Tracey Worth explains,

Heathrow had many individuals out of work as airside struggled at the start of and during lockdown. While there is an awareness of express final mile logistics the course takes the opportunity to bring knowledge of the diverse roles from sortation to delivery, and the flexibility of different shifts and worker status that opens availability of work for many people, with alternative work patterns to the normal 'nine to five'.


The course brings access to the knowledge of an exploding sector in need of workers, of which inclusion for all is readily delivered. The short course looks at geography and postcodes for delivery to the door. Has practical content on parcel volume, weight, and size with support for number understanding. The course considers all parcel networks and linehaul (trunking routes) through to small package sortation (SPS). Understanding customer service protocols relative to the availability and match to different network hubs. Customer service on the doorstep, failed delivery and getting every delivery right first time, every time with variations of safe leave and safe place deliveries.

Tracy Aust, Principal at West Thames College explains the guaranteed job interviews.

The ‘Introduction to Express logistics’ SWAP course is supported with guaranteed job interviews by DPD, every candidate completing the four-week course at the college, receives an interview from a DPD senior manager. The interview is for a wide variety of roles in the express final mile sector and the opportunity to move into the apprenticeship level two Express Delivery Operative is also offered.


The ‘Introduction to Express’ short course is workbook-based, it is made available in a hybrid learning model both online and in the classroom with Covid safe distancing and has guest industry speakers, a screen collage on the college multimedia labs helping to engage candidates to the job roles available in Express.

The course covers six units of knowledge:

Knowledge and behaviour units:

U0 Roles in Express. Sortation in the depot - Delivery on the road - Calm under pressure

U1 What is the last mile. Different express delivery services – What goods get delivered.

U2 Express Delivery company structure. How you work in express – employed and self-employed roles.

U3 Delivering quality. Mission in Express


Skills and job activity units:

U6 Learning and maintaining UK geographic and local road network knowledge to plan and check routes; road map reading; use of satellite navigation and postcodes to locate addresses.\

U7 Numeracy required to calculate load weights, dimensions and pricing schedules, assessing the dimensions of internet-generated returns.