The Awards 2016

33 UK businesses achieved the Princess Royal Training Awards standard in 2016.

The successful organisations ranged from small businesses to multi-nationals and came from a wealth of sectors. They all demonstrated that training and skills development can make a significant impact on business success.

2016 Awards Gallery
Allegis Group
Allegis Group
Allegis Group
Allegis Group
Allegis Group
Allegis Group
Allegis Group
Allegis Group
Allegis Group
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Allegis Group
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Allegis Group

A&G Precision & Sons Ltd

Solving skills shortages
Aerospace engineering | 61 employees | Lancashire

An example of how a small company addressed the UK-wide engineering skills shortage through Apprenticeships. Recruited locally, the young people now represent A&G’s specialist skills pipeline – the organisation’s biggest asset for expansion.

Best practice tips from A&G Precision & Sons

Consider ‘off the job training’
By offering apprentices 12 months of off-the-job training with our training provider, they come to us as competent, responsible individuals with the right values embedded and ready to begin working life.
Promote from within
Our first 12 apprentices all still work for the company and six of these are part of our management team. We believe in up-skilling apprentices and developing them into the supervisors, team leaders and directors of the business.
‘If in doubt, ask’
Apprentices are encouraged to have an open dialogue with mentors and we are a firm believer in encouraging and nurturing talent. We ensure that everyone joining the company has a clear understanding of career options and possibilities from day one.
Build community and local links
We have forged links with a local school and attend careers evenings to meet students interested in what we can offer. We regularly host visits to showcase how we work and to provide more information on our apprenticeship programme.
Allegis Group

Asda Stores Ltd

Refocusing company culture
Retail | 1000+ employees | West Yorkshire

This leading British retailer successfully refocused its company’s culture in order to meet changing market requirements and customer needs. By establishing retail academies and targeting training to individuals, Asda has embedded training and development across the organisation.

Best practice tips from Asda Stores Ltd

Planning and communication is essential
Initial planning meetings filled managers with the confidence that the process had been well thought through and was clearly defined. Colleagues left meetings with a clear understanding of their roles.
Flexibility is required
There has to be flexibility within our plans to meet constant and continual changes of the business such as people changing roles and being promoted which happens throughout any process.
What gets measured gets done
Progress reports kept us on track. Better performing regions were celebrated and others were encouraged and supported to reach the required standards.
80% of training was on the shop floor
Colleagues were able to learn ‘on the job’ and a lot of the success came from learning through experience and observation.
Financial planning matters
Budgets had to be closely monitored and reviewed as an overspend was not possible. Delivering the project to budget greatly added to its success.
Allegis Group

Babcock International Group

Creating apprentice ambassadors
Marine and Technology | 1000+ employees | Argyll and Bute

An example of how a company has tailored a traditional Apprenticeship programme to create a culture change catalyst for the business. Alongside technically qualified employees, the programme has created apprentices to act as change agents and ambassadors.

Best practice tips from Babcock International Group

Develop mindsets
We have realised that developing technical skills is not enough. By placing emphasis on also developing mindsets we have created apprentices who are not only technically qualified, they also act as change ambassadors within our organisation.
Go the extra mile
By looking for apprentices who are prepared to get involved and challenge what we do and how we do it, we know that they will be prepared to go that extra mile in everything they do.
Work with partners
West College Scotland use our apprentice programme as an example of a high-end benchmark standard. This external validation provides us with recognition and respect amongst students.
Allegis Group

BAE Systems plc

Trailblazers for Apprenticeships
Technology and Manufacturing | 1000+ employees | Hampshire

This global manufacturer is a trailblazer for Apprenticeships – it offers over 20 routes into gaining a qualification. Unemployed young people and school children are just two of the groups with which BAE works, enthusing and educating them about employment opportunities.

Best practice tips from BAE Systems plc

Winning awards helps to showcase success
Winning a National Apprenticeship Award and a Princess Royal Training Award showcases our commitment to delivering an enriched apprenticeship programme and enhances our strong reputation.
Engage stakeholders
We work closely with other companies and government departments to share best practice. This helps to drive up standards across the industry.
Go above and beyond
By planning, designing and delivering a quality training programme, we attract and retain the level of talent we require in the business.
Promote diversity
We are committed to promoting female engineering role models and have apprentice diversity and inclusion goals in place for ethnicity and diversity.
Allegis Group

Bentley Motors Ltd

Addressing the skills gap
Automotive | 1000+ employees | Cheshire

This luxury car company worked in partnership with a local college and training provider to overhaul its Apprenticeship programme in order to meet a future skills shortage. The programme, which includes an advanced Apprenticeship, ensures that talent is embedded within the company.

Best practice tips from Bentley Motors Ltd

Target diverse audiences
Attraction plans must be comprehensive and target a diverse audience to ensure a talent pipeline into industry and to address future skills needs.
Content must be relevant
The content offered on training programmes must be relevant to the skills needs of the business in order to really add value and get the best from future talent.
See the value
Ensuring that trainees see the benefits at every stage of their programme and beyond it leads to more committed, stronger workforce.
Use expertise from within
Knowledge retention and sharing best practice within the business has greatly enhanced our programmes and has ensured we retain a valued and loyal workforce.
Allegis Group

Bernicia Group

Utilising training to shape business
Property management | 380 employees | Northumberland

This property management company developed a successful training programme to address the challenges of identified skills gaps and an aging workforce. Their flexible and inclusive approach has made them a respected and recognised employer of choice in the area.

Best practice tips from Bernicia Group

Winning awards makes us an employer of choice
Winning a National Apprenticeship Award and being named as a City & Guilds Top 100 Apprentice Employer promotes best practice in the organisation and makes people want to work for us.
Invest in managers
By investing in our managers and team leaders we have improved performance, communication and our staff are more engaged. We equate this with a lower than industry-average turnover of staff.
Go above and beyond
By providing training to apprentices that is over and above the requirements of the apprenticeship framework, we feel that we are equipping apprentices for life.
Allegis Group

Caring Homes Group

Equipping staff to work with dementia patients
Care provider | 1000+ employees | Essex

An example of how a care home group has trained staff to understand and deal with dementia with dignity. This has resulted in reduced levels of aggression in patients, better relationships with patients’ families and approaches from other agencies and GPs to undertake the training.

Best practice tips from Caring Homes Group

Continuously improve what you do
By seeking feedback each time we run our training sessions, we find new opportunities for change, sharing best practice, building the best team possible and empowering everyone to support one another.
Make it cost-effective
We have developed a cost-effective programme in-house meeting business objectives and performance requirements that can be easily transferred to other workplaces.
Enhance your offering
Our accredited programme of learning provides learning in a practical and inclusive format. Colleagues experience the reality of living with dementia and this makes them more person-centred.
Train the community
By creating a huge pool of trainers we can offer extended learning to the wider community and really influence opinions and awareness of those living with dementia – part of our ultimate goal.
Allegis Group

Dale Power Solutions Ltd

Putting succession planning into action
Power solution provider | 270 employees | North Yorkshire

An example of how a company undertook succession planning to address the challenges of a remote location and an aging workforce. The resulting Apprenticeship programme is flexible, inclusive and has 100% retention rate – even the CEO is a former apprentice.

Best practice tips from Dale Power Solutions Ltd

Start small
Get involved with schools and colleges to find out what they are doing to support employability and how you can help them to meet their needs in terms of careers advice and awareness of apprenticeships.
Allow for flexibility
Understand some young people don’t have a fixed idea of what career they want to do as well as having different learning types. By offering them a flexible work experience placement and a varied role you (and they) can find out what they enjoy and are good at.
‘A’ grades don’t always make a good apprentice
Half of the UK’s unemployed are aged between 16 and 24. A CV full of A grades doesn’t necessarily make a good apprentice. A strong work ethic, eagerness to learn and a desire to do a good job are more important.
Develop, encourage, reward
And repeat!
Allegis Group

The Donkey Sanctuary

Diversifying to meet ambitious targets
Animal Charity | 500 employees | Devon

This organically-grown charity has focused on training as a way to meet its ambitious growth targets. An organisation-wide leadership programme offering tailored diplomas and a staff handbook which doubles as a development review tool are two of the creative ways that the charity is embedding training into its culture.

Best practice tips from The Donkey Sanctuary

Identify your supporters
You won’t bring everyone on board straight away. Use your supporters as advocates until you reach the ‘tipping point’ of support, then others will choose to follow you.
Bring it back to the strategy
Make sure your strategy is as simple as it can be and make it accessible to all staff. If there is no clear link between the work you are doing and one of your strategic goals then question if the activity is necessary.
Follow up
You need to be prepared to follow up training via learning and development teams and managers. By checking on progress of actions you can see if any further support is required.
A shoestring approach can work
In our sector there isn’t often a big budget to deliver projects. You don’t need a large budget to deliver effective change; energy and enthusiasm go a long way!
Allegis Group

East of England Co-operative

Trailblazer in dementia training
Retail | 4700 employees | Suffolk

This organisation successfully positioned itself as a dementia-friendly retailer in the region after undertaking community research. Two-thirds of the staff have completed the training which is interactive, activity-based and raises awareness of dementia. The organisation is now seen as a trailblazer advising on national standards for dementia training.

Best practice tips from the East of England Co-operative

Take the time to understand
Bringing on board experts in the field of dementia gave us valuable insight into what living with dementia is like for those diagnosed. Take the time to listen and understand.
Make it relevant
By using case studies from our colleagues and customers we customised our training to make it completely relevant to us. Working with people’s real stories and experiences made a truly personal learning experience.
Get the language right
The little things are important such as using the right terminology. For example we use ‘living with dementia’ rather than ‘dementia sufferers’.
Use different learning styles
By introducing different learning formats we appeal to more people who learn in different ways. We use e-learning to make learning accessible to large numbers of people and face-to-face sessions which are great for those who learn best through conversation.
Allegis Group

EE: New stores project

Integrating new employees in 8-day takeover
Telecommunications | 1000+ employees | Hertfordshire

An example of how a telecommunications company trained 358 staff over 8 days following the takeover of 58 stores. This ambitious project, which used creative techniques such as mentoring and buddy systems, led to the new stores outperforming existing stores in their first year of trading.

Allegis Group

EE: Priority Launch Programme

Improving employee performance
Telecommunications | 1000+ employees | Hertfordshire

This telecommunications company developed an organisation-wide initiative to improve employee performance when launching new products. The learner-focused training programme has resulted in more confident staff and has exceeded sales targets around product launches.

Allegis Group

Ginsters Van Sales Company

Creating can-do workforce
Distribution | 50-249 employees | Cornwall

An example of how a company changed its culture and created a sustainable business through an organisation-wide initiative. The training which built the right knowledge, skills and behaviours also created a can-do employee approach and has led to reduced staff turnover and increased career progression opportunities.

Allegis Group


Recognising technical talent
Information Technology | 14000 employees | Cheshire

As a way to recognise, retain and reward its best technical talent, Fujitsu established a Distinguished Engineer Scheme. Creating powerful cross-disciplinary networks, the scheme has led to long-term economic and reputational benefits such as enhanced performance and reduced attrition rates.

Best practice tips from Fujitsu

Utilise collaborative learning
We use social and collaborative learning to develop our people.
Recognise your talent
If you recognise your like-minded technical people, give them access to each other and access to senior leadership. They will thrive and you will see results.
Create innovation for customers
By empowering our best people we can harness their collective abilities, leading to innovation for our customers and the best results for our business.
Allegis Group

Green Lighting Ltd

Showcasing employee engagement
Manufacturing | 0-49 employees | Worcestershire

An example of how a small company invested in all staff offering systematic training and learning to deliver business growth. Through training, this company is leading the curve with technological advances and simultaneously encouraging positive organisational culture and high employee engagement.

Best practice tips from Green Lighting Ltd

Develop potential
We have learnt that developing the potential in each individual and encouraging them to be proud of their company and want to succeed is paramount to our business success.
Tailored CPD approach
Analysis of how we treat our staff and understanding how they want to be treated is the first step to creating individualised continual professional development programmes.
Cost-effective approach
Searching for cost-effective or funded training, whether for a one-off course or an apprenticeship, is key to maintaining the cost of the training against the cash flow of the business.
Involve the individual
Engaging the trainee in the training process and recognising their achievements can contribute greatly to the intrinsic motivation of that staff member.
Allegis Group

Hilti GB Limited

Delivering a new training centre
Construction | 250-999 employees | Greater Manchester

This global company invested in training in order to meet its business growth targets. In 2015 Hilti developed a purpose built training facility and its training programme has yielded impressive results including increased sales effectiveness and reduced ‘time to performance’ timescales.

Allegis Group


Rolling out programme globally
Facilities management | 42000 employees | Surrey

This global facilities management organisation developed a programme to meet the training needs at Derby Hospital. The i-Suite programme, which includes experiential learning and a ‘buddies’ system, has led to a 10-year contract extension and the system being adopted across the world.

Allegis Group


Developing ‘project readiness’ skills
Information Technology | 850 staff | County Antrim

This high-growth IT company has used its dedicated training academy to develop key ‘project readiness’ skills and integrate new employees into the company culture. The training delivered is creative and people-centric and has yielded significant business benefits.

Allegis Group

Home Instead Senior Care

Training over 20,000 in dementia care
Care provider | 7000 employees | Cheshire

An example of how a care provider has addressed a significant current need through training. As well as providing dementia training to staff, the organisation began to offer shorter courses to clients’ families and community groups with outcomes including business growth and increased client satisfaction.

Best practice tips from Home Instead Senior Care

Not training for training’s sake
Our training is successful as it was created to meet a real need from caregivers to help improve their daily working lives. The training has provided practical skills to make their jobs easier and trainees have seen real results from their clients.
Widen access
By offering free, short versions of the training to clients’ family members and community groups we have greatly raised awareness of living with and supporting people with dementia in the wider community.
Get external support
Involving third parties in developing the content of the training programmes has added value and credibility for the learners. Accrediting the course through City & Guilds has added extra kudos to gaining the qualification.
Allegis Group


Investing in young professionals
Technology | 1000+ employees | Greater London

An example of how a global technology company has established a UK Foundation programme to train new hires across student, apprentice and graduate schemes. Trainees are seen as invaluable to the business offering solutions to help IBM stay ahead of its competitors.

Best practice tips from IBM UK Ltd

Train for the real world
Our early professionals are appraised on their ability to deliver value to our clients. Our programmes ensure that learners develop client-facing skills and this is put into business practice with immediate effect.
Allow a bottom up approach
Early professionals are encouraged to drive their own learning by creating communities for specialist career development. This provides insight into different skill areas and enhances a learner’s breadth of knowledge.
Use social media
Our learners use social media to connect to other learners throughout the company. We use social media to host virtual meetings, blogs, think-tanks, networking and the continual sharing of ideas.
Allegis Group

Mercedes-Benz Trucks UK

Recruiting females to fill skills gap
Retail | 1600 employees | Buckinghamshire

This automotive retailer recruited a new sales force to address a skills gap due to the current age of the existing truck sales network. It delivers a 26-week training programme, which includes trainees learning to drive a truck, has doubled its number of female trainees and has had a 78% retention rate since 2011.

Allegis Group

National Grid

Bridging the skills gap
Energy | 1000+ employees | Nottinghamshire

National Grid has invested heavily in its three-year Apprenticeship and technician programmes in order to bridge the skills gap due to an aging workforce. In order to build a talent pipeline the company is an active promoter of careers in STEM subjects – trainees visit schools and pupils are regularly offered work placements.

Allegis Group

National Star College

Finding solutions quickly
Education | 804 employees | Gloucestershire

This college has embedded training deeply into the organisation and undertakes staff development reviews on a 6-week basis. These light-touch adjustments means that issues can be managed quickly, are less disruptive and allow employees to directly focus on their main priority – the students.

Allegis Group

J. Murphy & Sons Limited

Developing an umbrella academy
Engineering and Construction | 1000+ employees | Greater London

This company overhauled its training provision following a strategic review resulting in the creation of the Murphy Academy. The academy has full centre status with City & Guilds and ILM meaning that the workforce can be upskilled and certified internally whilst aligning core skills and competencies directly to the business.

Best practice tips from J. Murphy & Sons Limited

Keep it bite-sized
The innovative, bite-sized approach we use for training provides competence whilst preventing the need for trainees to have excessive time away from work. New skills can be applied immediately and individuals can see the benefits of what they have learnt.
Make it sustainable
We believe that using embedded trainers works best for us. Internal trainers understand our business better than external assessors. Employees are kept motivated and our values and knowledge is passed on. This provides a truly sustainable solution.
Allegis Group

National Museums Northern Ireland

Improving visitor satisfaction
Culture, Arts and Leisure | 415 employees | County Down

An example of a visitor attraction which used training as a catalyst for personal and organisational change. NMNI brought training in-house and built the programme around the needs of the employee resulting in increased visitor and employee satisfaction statistics.

Best practice tips from National Museums Northern Ireland

Qualifications are not static
Vocational qualifications are not static and our approach to them should be equally flexible. We aim to develop our assessment team, the organisation and associates alongside delivering qualifications.
Focus on the individual
Our approach is to focus on our people and how they best fit with the organisation, for mutual benefit. This approach can be replicated across many organisations and sectors.
Share perspectives
Working with area experts, awarding bodies and other organisations benefits us and allows us to share perspectives. We would encourage others to work closely with partners and other bodies in their field.
Allegis Group

Starbucks Coffee Company UK

Creating careers for young workforce
Catering | 7000+ employees | Greater London

This global catering company has created alternative career pathways for young people, offering Apprenticeships from level 2 to level 6 (degree level) and delivering a future workforce pipeline. Innovative training is delivered predominantly via technology-based methods to best meet the needs of the young workforce.

Allegis Group

Transport for London

Delivering ‘Olympic moment’
Transport | 1000+ employees | Greater London

An example of an organisation which initiated large-scale changes to training delivery following the success of their services during the 2012 Olympic Games. TfL used innovative technology and practical role-plays to gain staff buy in, transform attitudes to learning and roll out a service fit for the future.

Allegis Group

Unipart Group

Using technology effectively
Logistics and Manufacturing | 1000+ employees | Oxfordshire

This logistics and manufacturing organisation has made best use of online technologies to train and accredit team leaders. By establishing an online e-coaching system Unipart can train across many sites and has made huge savings. Trained employees are then encouraged to cascade what they have learnt to their wider teams.

Allegis Group

Queensmill School

Putting learning at its centre
Education | 50-259 employees | Greater London

An example of how a school has placed great importance on training with all staff being trained in how to deal with autism. Progression is encouraged with many teaching assistants training to become teachers. The development of a Research Board which employees can feed into also shows how staff can continually input and learn.

Best practice tips from Queensmill School

Tailor the training
Training can be delivered to the whole school or could be undertaken with small groups depending on the objectives. By tailoring our training we can best meet the needs of the learners.
Think about learning styles
We train using the direct teaching of strategies, modeling and shadowing in the classroom to demonstrate preferred learning styles of our pupils. Using the right learning style can have a huge impact on the outcome and success of the training.
Allegis Group

Ricoh UK

Transforming leadership programme
Technology | 1000+ employees | Northamptonshire

This global technology company needed to refocus employees on a strategic approach to business. They used staff to develop elements of the new leadership programme and encouraged self-discovery and ownership of learning. Outcomes include winning a new £5 million contract and a reduction of staff attrition by 10%.

Best practice tips from Ricoh UK

Listen to your people
By working with and listening to people at all levels we have created a programme that closely aligns to our strategy and values. The learning experience aims to develop both the delegates and the organisation as we continue to transform.
Inspire leaders
We have invested in our leaders ensuring that they lead with passion and vision. It is critical our leaders inspire our employees driving engagement and innovation.
Create a sought-after programme
Through a word of mouth approach our programmes have become sought-after due to the difference they are making to our leaders, their teams and the organisation. Our customers and partners have also noticed the difference and are wanting to understand what we have done.
Allegis Group

Thomas Cook UK

Offering apprentices the chance to fly
Travel | 9000 employees | Cambridgeshire

An example of a travel organisation which blends on- and off-the job learning to maximise its Apprenticeship training. Apprentices are given the chance to go on a cruise or on a flight so that they can better sell services to their customers. Results have included apprentices performing at 162% productivity compared to non-apprentice sales consultants.

Best practice tips from Thomas Cook UK

Identify roles and responsibilities
You need to know who is going to support your apprentices and ensure that they understand their roles and are fully briefed and engaged with the programme.
Invite feedback
In order to constantly improve our offering we ask for regular feedback from participants and stakeholders. We need to make sure that we evolve with the changing needs of apprentices as well as business and that we continue to improve the quality of the training and experience.
Key milestones in place
A robust and realistic scheme with key milestones to measure progress against is essential. By monitoring progress you can manage any risks as they arise.
Be the best you can be
We encourage our apprentices to strive for excellent results and to achieve their full potential.
Allegis Group

TUI Group

Promoting home-grown talent
Tourism | 76000 employees | Bedfordshire

An example of how a global tourism organisation has embedded its Apprenticeship programme to provide the talent pipeline for the business. Results include apprentices outperforming non-apprentices and a 95% apprentice retention rate after four years of completing the training.

Best practice tips from TUI Group

Contribute to best practice forums
We are regularly asked to contribute to best practice events for the Skills Funding Agency. We have provided advice on how to build internal training and development and how to manage subcontractors and feel this can feed into creation of best practice and improvement across the industry.
Share experience
Sharing our experience and learning in relation to recruitment of apprentices and the use of technology to support programme management with partners has been mutually beneficial.
Talk to policy makers
By embracing the opportunity to talk to policy makers we are able to create a greater understanding and appreciation of the needs of employers and at the same time listen to their overarching objectives and aims.
Allegis Group

Wakefield Council

Developing coaching culture
Support Services | 1000+ employees | West Yorkshire

This council has developed a training programme to equip managers with a set of behaviours and attitudes to deliver services against a backdrop of cuts. There is a real focus on coaching and SMART targets and this has led to time-saving and a positive shift in wider employees’ values and behaviours.

Best practice tips from Wakefield Council

Peer-to-peer learning
Creating ‘peer pairing’ meant that we removed organisational and departmental barriers. Introducing performance coaches to support each pair of trainees further developed this.
Be evidence-led
Be clear about what you are seeking to improve or address and make those links explicit to staff. We use the ‘you said…’, ‘we did….’ model and ensure that we always show how we are measuring progress and results.
Engage senior leadership
By engaging our senior leadership teams, we created buy-in and support from the top down. Senior managers participated in programmes and this showed that they understood the value of the training and approach taken.
Create demand
The quality of the facilitation of our training programmes has led trainees to recommend the programme to colleagues. This has created a strong demand for places on future courses.
Allegis Group

University of York

Growing leadership from within
Education | 3900 employees | North Yorkshire

An example of how a university is using leadership training to bring together academics and support staff to address real challenges in the organisation. As well as developing cross-institution working and coaching support, the programme has broken down silo-working, enhancing existing practices in the university.

The Awards Gallery 2016

See all the pictures from the event at St. James’s Palace in November 2016.

How to apply

Interested in applying? Find out more about entering your organisation in this year’s Princess Royal Training Awards.

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