Future Delivered

Creating opportunities for young people and equipping them for the world of work

Through our unrivalled scale and reach across the UK, we aim to deliver economic and social benefits for our people, our customers, and the communities we serve.

As youth unemployment and socio-economic disparity continue to be significant challenges across the UK, Royal Mail has an opportunity to help young people access the workplace, develop their skills and build a career, driving social mobility.

The challenge young people face today

Young people face higher unemployment levels in the UK, with a youth unemployment rate of 11.4% compared to an unemployment rate of 4.0% for the whole population1.

Against this backdrop, with our organisational scale and reach, Royal Mail has a significant opportunity to improve representation of young people in our workforce across the country. Colleagues aged 16-30 represent 6% of our 100-000 strong team of posties, compared to 18% nationally, signalling room for growth to better reflect the communities we serve.

Everyone should have equal access to career options, employability support and work experience, regardless of their background or where they grew up. We want to proactively address the existing barriers and disparities that inhibit young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds from reaching their full potential.

Whilst we have set targets to address this, with actions aimed at improving representation, we need to increase our efforts and invest resources to deliver the outcomes that will significantly shift the dial in representation.

Our Ambition

Our ambition is to be the employer of choice for a diverse workforce, with an equitable, inclusive, and accessible culture where our colleagues, customers and communities are enabled to thrive and belong.

Royal Mail is launching Future Workforce - its biggest-ever youth employment drive in a bid to tackle youth unemployment and socio-economic inequity across the UK. In recognition of our need to better reflect the communities we serve, we aim to spearhead the company’s biggest ever growth in entry level opportunities, aiming to be an employer of choice for the next generation.

We aim to make the most of our heritage, our brand, geographical reach, and the wide range of career options we have available at Royal Mail, to help and provide more avenues for young people to access work experience and secure a quality job with long-term career prospects.

Progress to date

We have started to lay the critical foundations to improve attraction and retention of young talent at Royal Mail. This includes making progress through the following actions:

Setting diversity targets for under 30s representation: We’ve set ourselves an ambition to more than double representation of under 30 colleagues on our frontline by 2025.

Transforming our recruitment process: We’re transforming our recruitment process, making it more relevant and accessible for young people from all backgrounds, enabling us to achieve more representation in our incoming new entrant talent pool. We’ll be utilising social media sites including TikTok and Instagram and we will be making the application process simpler, mobile-friendly and also sharing interview questions in advance to give candidates the best chance to arrive at an interview fully prepared.

Recruiting early career talent: Over the last 12 months, we’ve recruited over 200 postal and graduate apprentices across our teams at Royal Mail, creating new career pathways for young talent, and providing critical investment to further their education whilst starting professional careers.

Accelerating our Progress

Through Future Workforce, we aim to provide young people with employability support in readiness for future opportunities and provide new routes into employment at Royal Mail. Committing to a diverse workforce is key to success and removing barriers facing early career talent is critical.

Our approach is organised across two phases:

  • Phase One – H2 2023: Creating opportunities for young talent.
  • Phase Two – H1 2024: Launch our social mobility  plan.

Phase One:

Our first phase is aimed at improving our recruitment processes at Royal Mail, so we can better attract and retain young talent. We aim to take meaningful action that creates pathways for young talent at Royal Mail. This includes:

  • New career routes: We are creating new roles across the UK through our recruitment channels, providing more opportunities for young talent to start their careers at Royal Mail. We will launch degree apprenticeships to give people the opportunity to earn while they learn and launch a programme to accelerate the journey from frontline roles to management.
  • Work experience: We commit to offering 1,000 work experience placements in Royal Mail offices across the UK. The placements will help young people from all backgrounds and all corners of the country to build employability skills and help them get ready for the world of work. Our in-person placements will be supported by a series of virtual and face to face insights event opportunities
  • Transforming the way we hire: We are simplifying our recruitment process, making it easier for young people to access opportunities at Royal Mail. These changes will provide more confidence to prospective talent through the interview process, increasing ease of access to their first career opportunities at Royal Mail. We will also reduce time between interview to hire, accelerating access to opportunity.
  • Strategic partnerships: We will partner with organisations with a common cause, supercharging opportunities through collaboration to provide access to employment for more young people, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Schools’ engagement: We will work with an external outreach specialist to access schools within social mobility “cold spots”, leveraging our geographical reach to engage students, empowering them, and providing access to new opportunities. ​​​​​​​

Phase Two:

Our second phase is aimed at supporting people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, providing tools and resources and access to opportunities at Royal Mail. This includes:

  • Social mobility plan: We will launch a social mobility plan, created by our colleagues in partnership with This is Purpose, aimed at supporting talent from lower socio-economic groups, inside and outside the business. This will include supporting employability skills and creating further access to career opportunities through work experience and apprenticeship opportunities.


"The challenges that young people are facing today are more pronounced than they have been in generations - with a cost-of-living crisis, high youth unemployment and consequences from the pandemic that we are still feeling today. Royal Mail is committed to doing all it can to make a positive impact on the lives of young people and help more young people to kick-start their career.

“Our geographical reach across every postcode in the UK, combined with our strong brand and trusted heritage, enable us to reach those who may have been left behind. Our First Class Future scheme will also strengthen Royal Mail as a business, with talent that will drive the business into the future." – Zareena Brown, Chief People Officer at Royal Mail

Case study

Lois Hempston joined Royal Mail in 2021, aged 16, as a member of our first ever Postal Apprenticeship programme; a pipeline to join our frontline delivery team whilst also completing an Express Delivery Apprenticeship. Following successful completion of Lois’ 13 month apprenticeship programme, her line manager Alan Hilliard quickly identified Lois’ potential to progress into a managerial role and encouraged her to join our Trainee Manager programme. With Alan’s support, Lois put herself forward for this new opportunity, gaining managerial skills across a number of offices and leading large delivery operations. After just 8 months, Lois applied for the opportunity to achieve a permanent managerial role. Within two years at Royal Mail, Lois is now our youngest Customer Operations Manager across the UK, leading a team of 32 Posties at Teddington Delivery Office.

Lois says: “I’d really encourage other young people to join an apprenticeship scheme or consider alternative routes into the workplace. It’s got me to the position of where I am now and is a really good educational scheme if you’d like to progress your career. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am now without the opportunities I have been able to grasp since joining Royal Mail.” Lois recalls that whilst at school, she knew she didn’t want to go to university but was unsure of the opportunities available to her outside of traditional routes. This has fuelled Lois’ passion to work closely with our Future Talent team to showcase the opportunities available to young people to support them to make informed decisions and create the right career path for them.

Lois continues to receive positive feedback from her team around her management style and the improvements and culture change she has driven so far. Lois has also become an active member of NextGen, our Employee Resource Group for colleagues aged under 30, most recently leading a live interview event with an Executive Board member about their career to share insights and top tips. 


1: House of Commons Library Youth Unemployment Statistics – July 2023

2. Socio-economic diversity and inclusion - Employers’ toolkit: Cross-industry edition - July 2021 (publishing.service.gov.uk)​​​​​​​