15 August, 2019:
Degree-level sales apprentices at Royal Mail have met education secretary Gavin Williamson who told them it was fantastic to see how the apprenticeship programme could help young people land a great job.
Mr Williamson, who also has responsibility for Apprenticeships and Skills, met the business-to-business (B2B) sales apprentices at the Royal Mail’s Sales Centre in Leeds, earlier this month, where they discussed their experience on the programme, their degree and their workplace activity.
During his visit, the education secretary underlined the vital role of further education and skills in employment
Mr Williamson also had the opportunity to meet Royal Mail sales leaders who discussed the importance of the sales apprentice programme and how it plays a critical role in supporting Royal Mail customers to enable UK businesses prosperity.
The education secretary said: “Further education and skills will be a big priority for this government and it’s fantastic to see first-hand today how apprenticeships can help people land a great job and embark on a brilliant career.
“We are reforming technical education and apprenticeships and are offering excellent options for everyone while helping our country build the skilled workforce it needs for a productive economy.
“The government has transformed apprenticeships, working alongside employers like Royal Mail, to create high-quality opportunities to help people forge a rewarding career while providing industry and employers with the skilled workforce they need.”
The Royal Mail sales apprentices are currently undertaking a three-year programme of learning and workplace practice through Middlesex University and the Consalia Sales School leading to a BSc in professional sales.
The Association of Professional Sales (APS) worked closely in the trailblazer group with our corporate partners to develop the degree-level apprenticeship. Together, we made sure that the standard, agreed by the government’s Institute for Apprenticeship, met the ethical and professional principles set out by the APS and the skills and behaviours needed for the role.
Early in 2016, it was APS general manager, now Co-CEO, Ben Turner who first made the case that sales needed an apprenticeship qualification, unlocking access for sales organisations to the estimated £240m they pay each year into the apprenticeship levy.
The trailblazer group was chaired by former Royal Mail sales director, Graham Davis, who commented at the time: “The APS has galvanised people on the road to sales professionalism, and this is an important stepping stone as we campaign for chartered status for the sales profession.”
About the APS:
The Association of Professional Sales is the leading authority for salespeople, a not-for-profit organisation reinvesting in the sales profession to build standards, trust and education. The APS is engaged with MPs to promote ethical, professional selling across UK businesses and has worked with the government, business leaders and academics to establish sales apprenticeships up to degree and master’s level. We are also campaigning for chartered status to give skilled, ethical salespeople the same recognition as other professions like accountants, architects, and engineers.