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Friday 17 September 2021

Royal Mail staff deliver first-class degrees

Red-letter day for new degree apprentices

It was a red-letter day for a unique group of Royal Mail employees as they became the first graduates to complete a specialist University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) degree. 

The 11 staff, who are based throughout the UK, donned their academic caps and gowns after gaining first-class BEng (Hons) Mechatronics and Intelligent Machines degrees. 

They all completed the programme part-time while working full-time for the national postal delivery company.

Tim Brook, who works at the Leeds depot, and Andrew Leslie, who is based at the Chelmsford office, were among the first graduates.

"This course has shown me what’s possible in my chosen field, it’s given me a deeper knowledge and the confidence to be more innovative in my workplace"

Andrew Leslie, a new BEng (Hons) Mechatronics and Intelligent Machines graduate

Forty-six-year-old Tim, a dad-of-two from York, said: “It’s been nearly 30 years since I left education and it was quite a scary prospect at first but I wanted to do it for my personal development. I’ve got more confidence and feel I am operating at a higher level so there’s a chance it could open more doors in the future.”

Andrew, 41, who had undertaken some Open University modules years ago, commented: “At 18 all my friends went off to university whilst I started working but I always thought I’d like to give it a go. This course has shown me what’s possible in my chosen field, it’s given me a deeper knowledge and the confidence to be more innovative in my workplace.”

The Royal Mail approached the University to develop the programme and it took six months to review the curriculum. The course required all students to attend the Preston Campus for four lots of two-week block’s throughout the academic year, but this was replaced by online teaching due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It’s part of our strategy to give more employees an opportunity to upskill themselves and create intelligent ways of working"

Manoj Vadher, Head of Central Engineering for Royal Mail

Manoj Vadher, Head of Central Engineering for Royal Mail, has been integral to the relationship and attended the graduation ceremony. He said: “It’s been the most incredible day and I’m so proud to see their hard work rewarded. It’s part of our strategy to give more employees an opportunity to upskill themselves and create intelligent ways of working.”

Professor Ian Allison, Executive Dean of Faculty of UCLan’s Faculty of Science & Technology, added: “We’re very proud of our relationship with Royal Mail. We’ve worked collaboratively to ensure this programme has delivered top-class, confident graduates.”