Royal Mail's B2B Sales Professional Integrated Degree Apprenticeship programme, developed and provided by MDX, has won a 2020 Princess Royal Training Award.
The awards, now in their fifth year, were announced last month on the Princess Royal's 70th birthday. The BSc programme was judged to demonstrate a standard of excellence in delivering impactful, career- and business-enhancing training and skills development against three industry hallmarks.
MDX sat on the Trailblazer Group which designed the apprenticeship standard, alongside Consalia Sales Business School, the Association of Professional Sales and two other universities. In 2019-20 the university had 74 student apprentices from Royal Mail and other employers studying on the programme. The B2B Sales Professional Apprenticeship is the first level 6 sales apprenticeship that integrates workplace learning while undertaking a BSc degree in Sales Professionalism.
A ceremony will be held by the City & Guilds Group which runs the awards later this year.
Confirming the award, City & Guilds Group President HRH The Princess Royal said that Royal Mail "have further demonstrated that investing in your people through training and skills development has delivered real and tangible impact and benefits".
Programme Leader André Lahiff paid testament to the "hard work and dedication" of the members of the original Trailblazer Group, "particularly our learning partners Consalia Sales Business School, Middlesex University, the Association of Professional Sales (APS) and Huthwaite International".
"This is great recognition of the approach we are taking in the continued professionalisation journey of Sales" he added.
Professor Darryll Bravenboer, Director of Apprenticeships at MDX said: "This programme demonstrates how degree apprenticeships can play a vital role in helping key occupations gain the professional recognition they deserve. Working with great employers, sales that has ethical practice at its heart can now be a career of choice for those seeking professional status.”
Royal Mail's Director of National Sales Mike Gibson said the apprenticeship had "changed the nature of what the workforce is" and disrupted long-established thinking at the organisation.
"The energy is incredibly positive” he says. “Running a team meeting, running a board meeting, we always make sure we have an apprentice with us to challenge us and feed back on what they see we’re doing and how they think that reflects in the modern world or the world they're coming from".
The Student Voice leader for one of MDX's first cohorts of B2B Sales apprentices said they had "gained so much confidence through the course, constantly venturing out of my comfort zone and bettering myself".
Stacey Firn, Royal Mail Account Manager of the Year said the programme “made me more ambitious. I've improved by 20% putting in place measures I've been learning at university”. Royal Mail Account Manager Catherine Arnold said, “I’ve done forecasting and pipeline management, but I feel like I'm doing it better, I'm doing it more... It is the best thing I've done when it comes to my work career".
The Hallmarks against which the programme was judged to have achieved excellence are:
1. Training/learning and development are integral to the organisation
2. The programme is designed and delivered effectively and efficiently
3. The programme has an impact on the success of the organisation and its people
Last month, Chipping Barnet MP Theresa Villiers visited campus and spoke to two MDX student apprentices about their experiences on their programmes, including B2B Sales apprentice at BT, Ben Covington.