What are transferable skills and why do you need them? What does it mean to be employable today and in the future?...
- Sort letters and packages for delivery to homes and businesses
- You'll need time management, communication and customer service skills, and the ability to work alone and as part of a team
- You could progress to become a supervisor or manager, or move into parcel deliveries, courier jobs or customer care and administration
As a postman or postwoman, you'll be responsible for ensuring the right letters and parcels are delivered to the right people.
- Sorting mail on a sorting frame and getting it into address order
- Operating automated equipment
- Delivering mail on foot, by a bicycle or by van
- Getting customer signatures for registered post and recorded deliveries
- Picking up mail from post boxes, post offices and businesses
- Dealing with wrongly addressed or returned mail
- Moving mail to and from processing centres, delivery offices, railway stations and airports
- You may have extra duties if you work in a rural area
You'll usually be based in a district delivery office, and have a round covering several hundred addresses. You could also work in a larger mail processing centre, dealing with incoming and outgoing mail for delivery across the country and overseas. You could work for Royal Mail or other licensed mail operators.
For this role, you'll need customer service skills, thoroughness and attention to detail, the ability to work on your own, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, the ability to work well with others, excellent verbal communication skills, and knowledge of English language.
Direct application is possible, but your interview will usually include aptitude tests to check that you can read addresses correctly and recognise misaddressed mail.
You could do an express delivery operative intermediate apprenticeship, if you want to work as a delivery driver.
You'll have to be physically fit, as delivery rounds (walks) can take 3 to 4 hours. You'll be carrying bags that can weigh up to 16kg. You'll need a full UK driving licence to work as a delivery driver.
Another way to get into this job is through seasonal work which usually starts around September each year. You'll usually need your own transport to get to and from work, as you may not be able to get public transport to suit your shift times.
Royal Mail often recruits temporary staff for the Christmas period from September each year. This can be a useful way for you to get some experience and apply for permanent jobs as they come up.
With experience, you could be promoted to higher grades like supervisor and manager. You could move into parcel deliveries, courier jobs or customer care and administration.