MTA 2021 winner Apprenticeship

Motor Transport editor Steve Hobson (far right) presents the trophy on behalf of TotalEnergies to DPD director of marketing Tim Jones (second left), apprentices manager Paul McDonald (centre) and communications consultant David Hare (second right) with host Alexander Armstrong

DPD looks to hire and retain the best people in the delivery industry and offers a diverse range of apprenticeships in its UK-wide network. DPD’s award entry highlighted the difference its apprenticeship programme makes, including to young people with SEND (special educational needs and/or disabilities) through Inspire – its inclusivity programme for people with learning difficulties and disabilities.

Anyone joining DPD through Inspire is given clear progression through work experience, supported internships and inclusive apprenticeship before achieving a substantive post. The apprenticeship process remains the same but with reasonable adjustments to suit an individual’s abilities.

There is involvement at every level of the recruitment process from senior managers, with chief operating officer Justin Pegg conducting final interviews and three-month reviews. They also advise on which department they feel would provide the best platform for a successful career.

DPD has invested £250,000 in the SEND programme since 2018, and had positive feedback from apprentices and their families who feel it has provided them with a career that may otherwise not have been possible.

Offering five separate types of apprenticeship allows DPD to recruit people of all ages, ensuring a consistent stream of innovative minds and fresh perspectives. Over 400 apprenticeship qualifications are currently being completed.

Different levels of apprenticeship include Intermediate – widely considered to be the same level as five GCSE passes: Advanced – recognised as equal to two A Level passes; and Higher – providing an opportunity to gain Level 4 qualifications or above, with most apprentices going on to an NVQ Level 4, HND or foundation degree. Students can also achieve a full bachelor’s or master’s degree.

“DPD edged it with the Inspire programme, which put over 100 people into posts across the business,” said one of our judges.

“It’s really important that these kids aren’t pushed aside. We need to develop them and put them in a position where they can contribute to society”

Paul McDonald, apprentices manager, DPD UK