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Royal Mail employs approximately 141,000 employees and needs a constant flow of new recruits to join the business at all levels. Nadine Kemp, senior people business partner – central logistics teams – at Royal Mail, is a big fan of the Think Logistics programme to get the message about career opportunities in logistics to students at schools and colleges.

She is now recruiting and training a group of Royal Mail managers to deliver Think Logistics workshops.

Kemp says: “I got involved with Think Logistics and went to a couple of workshops, which I found frustrating because we’ve got this opportunity, yet we didn’t have the people to deliver it.”

Think Logistics works with not-for-profit organisation Career Ready to put employers in touch with schools and help facilitate the half-day classroom sessions that give students a taste of what logistics is about.

“We’ve got a list of mentors who had been identified through some previous activity with Career Ready,” says Kemp. “I did a scoping exercise and we have potentially 30 people who are willing to run a [Think Logistics] workshop.”

School visit

Kemp organised a session explaining what the Think Logistics programme involves, starting with a visit to a local school or college to run the workshop with a class of students. This can be intimidating for managers not used to dealing with groups of school-age children.

Think Logistics is a generic programme rather than designed to be company-specific; but as the national postal operator Royal Mail is slightly unusual and will include some Royal Mail-specific content in its presentations.

The individuals who have volunteered to deliver workshops range from graduate trainee managers to experienced managers from across the business. “Some of our grads have said, ‘yes, I’d like to be part of it’ and then we’ve got all sorts of managers who sit in sales, customer experience and distribution,” says Kemp. “Some of them are in very senior roles with good packages that relate back to the story that we’re trying to tell.”

While Think Logistics is a national programme, and Royal Mail will deliver a workshop anywhere in the UK, Kemp is focusing on the north west and East Midlands hotspots where recruitment is particularly difficult. The programme is aimed at presenting opportunities at all levels and in all parts of the business.

Generic message

“We’re not targeting any specific job role,” Kemp says. “It’s a very generic message. It’s trying to outline the opportunities starting from part-time Saturday support at Christmas that could progress to whatever role they wanted to do. Then we have graduates across all functions including operations, finance and project management.”

The next step in the programme is to invite students whose interest was caught by the workshop to visit a Royal Mail site and learn more about the various career opportunities.

“We’re working on a ‘logistics in motion’ day where we could have 25 students come along, watch a presentation and then go and have a look around the facility,” said Kemp. “We’re looking to trial this in two sites by March 2019.”

As well as its 141,000 full-time staff, Royal Mail takes on thousands of additional casual workers to cope with the Christmas peak. Last year the company took on 20,000 workers.


As the privatised Royal Mail continues to invest in new technology, that will change the nature of the skills it needs to attract and develop. “Automation will not necessarily reduce our workforce but it may change the type of role that a person has,” says Kemp. “If we’re going down the route of further automation in centres, then the skill sets we’re looking for will change to fall in line.”

While everyone in the UK knows Royal Mail, the perception of what goes on behind the scenes to enable the postmen and women to complete their delivery rounds is not as well known. “I don’t think people register Royal Mall as being a logistics company,” says Kemp. “That’s the image that they see and while it’s a really crucial part of our pipeline, behind that job, there are 101 other types of roles. So if you’re interested in HR, finance, programming and IT, or whether you want to be an operational manager or a driver, for us it’s about delivering a story that says we’re more than the delivery person that you see in the street.”

  • Think Logistics is currently recruiting logistics employers to deliver workshops. To get involved go to