The Awards 2019

Congratulations to the 44 UK businesses who have achieved the Princess Royal Training Awards standard in 2019!
The successful organisations range from multi-nationals and SMEs, through to charities, the public sector and small employers. What each organisation has in common is its commitment to investing in its people.
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What are the key trends in HR and L&D, and who is having an impact in L&D?

Insight and analysis from the Chief Assessor Paul Robertson

Read the interactive report
Antwerp Dental Group

BAE Systems

Tackling mental health awareness
Aviation and defence | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This global defence business established a one-day mental health awareness workshop in order to manage its employees’ duty of care and maximise productivity of the business. The workshop, which is linked to real business challenges, was initially delivered to the leadership team but feedback has been so positive that there is a target to reach 6,000 employees by the end of the year.

Antwerp Dental Group

Balfour Beatty

Meeting challenges head on
Construction and engineering | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This international infrastructure group responded decisively to a challenging period, by delivering a corporate transformation built on upskilling its employees in order for them to deliver the commercial decisions needed for business success. The commercial programme has led to significant return on investment and an increased awareness of commercial governance.

Antwerp Dental Group

Barlows (UK) Ltd

Putting apprentices at the heart of the business
Construction and engineering | 250-999 employees | Multiple locations

This electrical organisation puts training at the heart of its strategy with 95% of its staff having undertaken an Apprenticeship. The programme is embedded and integrated in the business and led passionately from the top-down with training meaning that work is done ‘the Barlows’ way.’ There is a 97% retention rate of employees and the business has grown solidly for the past 25 years, even during recession periods.

Antwerp Dental Group

Black and White Hospitality

Embedding brand standards
Hospitality | 250-999 employees | UK-wide

This rapidly expanding franchise restaurant business developed a training programme focusing on brand integration and engagement in order to improve guest satisfaction. In an extremely transient industry, the training was developed to be accessible and interactive and included training buddies and champions. Following the training, both mystery diner scores and guest satisfaction responses have improved across restaurants.

Antwerp Dental Group

Bouygues Energies and Services UK

Leading and inspiring
Construction and engineering | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This industrial conglomerate recognised a need to create a UK-centric programme in order to build a strong managerial culture. ‘Building Your Leadership Signature’ supports managers to ‘lead and inspire’ rather than ‘command and control’. The programme includes a Dragon’s Den simulation where teams can present business proposals and has resulted in improved business performance and replacing the invoicing system with credit card payments.

Antwerp Dental Group

CAIS

Developing highly motivated mentors
Charities and not-for-profit | 50-249 employees | Wales

This charity and voluntary sector provider delivers Cyfle Cymru (Opportunity Wales), a peer mentoring and employability project helping people who are having problems with substance misuse and mental health conditions. The Academy provides a consistent training framework for the 60 mentors on the project who act as guides and motivators and use their own experiences of recovery to help the participants.

Antwerp Dental Group

Canal Engineering Ltd

Establishing a sustainable, skilled workforce
Manufacturing | 50-249 employees | Nottingham

This successful manufacturing business identified concerns around long-term sustainability of production due to much of the workforce being close to retirement age. It developed an in-house training and Apprenticeship programme and created a training academy. Training is now directly relevant to business needs and the age profile of staff under 30 has risen by 13% over the last seven years.

Antwerp Dental Group

Childbase Partnership

Delivering ‘Outstanding’ childcare
Education and training | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This employee-owned organisation devised a Teach to Reach programme to support nursery practitioners in achieving high standards of care, education and customer service levels. The training is undertaken on INSET days in order to reach whole teams. Out of the 43 nurseries in the partnership, 81% have been rated as Outstanding by Ofsted, compared to 19% of all early years providers across the UK.

Antwerp Dental Group

Coleg Sir Gar/Coleg Ceredigion

Leading the way
Education and training | 250-999 employees | Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion

This FE Institution implemented a new Teaching, Learning and Staff Development Strategy to address areas of concern and low staff morale. The College created bespoke programmes for individuals and an Excellence Pathways Initiative for senior managers. Outcomes have included 80 of the 420 staff achieving promotions and the College being asked by the Welsh Government to lead a Teaching and Learning Network for Wales.

Antwerp Dental Group

Countrywide Conveyancing Services

Offering structured career pathways
Property | 250-999 employees | Manchester and Cardiff

This large residential conveyancing provider established a Training Academy programme with well-defined career progression pathways for non-legally qualified employees and those with foreign qualifications not recognised by the UK legal system. Training Academy programme lawyers are achieving 40% of the business’s exchanges and 69% of those trained are still working for the company.

Antwerp Dental Group

CVQO Ltd

Upskilling its volunteers
Education and training | 50-249 employees | UK-wide

This charity is upskilling its volunteers who in turn deliver training to cadets across uniformed organisations. Over 4,000 cadets each year gain a qualification as a direct result of the quality of training provided by volunteers. Since 2004 there has been a 42% increase in those undertaking the training and 90% have benefitted from it either financially, through career enhancement or by their improved ability to work with the Cadets.

Antwerp Dental Group

Cyfle Building Skills Ltd

Innovative partnership working
Construction and engineering | 50 – 249 employees | South West Wales

This innovative Shared Apprenticeship Scheme is a unique collaborative training model set up to address predicted future skills shortages. 130 employees, of which 120 are apprentices, work with multiple contractors to increase their knowledge and accentuate their craft skills development. Cyfle has provided a hugely successful solution to a construction industry challenge and has created almost 600 jobs in the region.

Antwerp Dental Group

Dermalogica UK Ltd

Embracing digital advances
Manufacturing | 250-999 employees | Leatherhead

Dermalogica decided to reinvent the way it trained its employees about new products (innovations) in line with advances in technology. The business decided to focus on digital delivery, increasing the learning and reference resources whilst improving access and flexibility for staff. In 2018 revenue made from innovations was at 13.8% which is 3.8% above the expected target.

Antwerp Dental Group

Dorchester Collection

Investing in flexible training
Hospitality | 1000+ employees | Worldwide

The Dorchester Collection set out to respond to challenges in the face of possible staff shortages due to Brexit. It reinvented its staff development processes creating a framework that is flexible and sophisticated enough to meet individual needs in many different situations and countries. Employee turnover has reduced significantly and recruitment applications have almost doubled in a year.

Antwerp Dental Group

DVLA

Maximising performance during period of change
Public Sector | 1000+ employees | Swansea

This Government Agency is going through a significant period of change with paper-based transactions being increasingly supplemented (and eventually replaced) with digital services. The agency implemented a new training initiative to develop employees’ leadership potential which has led to a 5% increase in leadership capability levels. 78% line managers also report a tangible benefit from delegates back in the workplace.

Antwerp Dental Group

Elior UK

Addressing a sector skills gap
Hospitality | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This contract catering organisation established a Chef School programme in order to create an in-house pipeline and address a predicted future skills gap in the sector. Outcomes include a 68% promotion rate, significantly reduced recruitment spend and collaboration with suppliers and clients leading to increased reputation and credibility with customers.

Antwerp Dental Group

Essity UK Ltd

Developing talent from within
Manufacturing | 250-999 employees | Prudhoe

This manufacturing organisation invested in its Apprenticeship programme in order to address skills gaps being created by an ageing workforce. The former maintenance apprentice became the business’s Apprentice Team Leader and to-date more than 150 employees have completed their Apprenticeship with over 70% still employed by the company.

Antwerp Dental Group

Exponential-e

Networks Operations Center Level 1: Career Path – Growing its own
Technology | 250-999 employees | London

This technology business is investing in ‘growing its own’ by training first line technicians to become second line engineers. Outcomes have included engineering attrition reducing by 5.9% over a 12 month period and Second Line Engineers promoted and in place 10 weeks earlier than if they were recruited externally.

Antwerp Dental Group

Exponential-e

Product Portfolio Online Learning – Putting automation at the forefront
Technology | 250-999 employees | London

To address the need to upscale training provision in the face of rapid growth, this technology business brought its product training online. Learners are able to learn at a time, place and pace that suits them and the business is championing the use of technology in its operations. Outcomes have included time and cost savings and improved consistency of delivery.

Antwerp Dental Group

Gateshead College

Coaching – Maintaining its performance status
Education and training | 250-999 employees | Gateshead

This top performing College invested in Coaching as a means of maintaining and improving its performance status and retaining its ‘Outstanding’ OFSTED rating. The strategic whole organisation approach involved training 35 coaches who then cascade the learning throughout the College. Gateshead College was awarded number one College for Learner Outcomes in 2017-18.

Antwerp Dental Group

Gateshead College

Mental Health – Supporting employees’ well-being
Education and training | 250-999 employees | Gateshead

In response to statistics across the sector including 70% of FE employees considering leaving the profession and 12% employees signed off with stress-related illness, Gateshead College invested in Mental Health Training. 89% of staff have completed a Level 2 qualification and there are 15 Mental Health Champions now in place supported by a Mental Health Nurse. The College has also established walk and talk and Fit for Life sessions for employees.

Antwerp Dental Group

Go North East

Creating opportunity for hard-to-reach groups
Travel, transport and logistics | 1000+ employees | Gateshead

Go North East, working in partnership with Gateshead College and the Job Centre, created the revolutionary Bus Driver Routeway programme as a way of improving the recruitment process for the unemployed. Of the 250 learners who have undertaken the programme, success at interview has risen from 27% to 76% and learners gaining employment has increased from 9% to 44%.

Antwerp Dental Group

Greencore Group

Providing a one-stop training shop
Food and beverages | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This is an example of a manufacturer of convenience foods developing an on-demand learning programme to equip line managers with the required knowledge at the right time. The Grow with Greencore programme uses a blend of videos, ‘how to’ guides and peer learning and has led to increased employee engagement scores and a 10% reduction in turnover.

Antwerp Dental Group

GSK

Creating a level playing field
Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | Stevenage

This global healthcare company is providing a long-term solution offering in-house postgraduate certificate and PhD programmes in order to create a more level playing field for senior positions. Outcomes include increased staff retention and promotion, reduced recruitment costs and the work of postgraduates is helping to inform new areas of research and the development of new drugs.

Antwerp Dental Group

Home Instead Senior Care

Developing staff to manage challenging situations
Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | Multiple locations

This leading care provider upskilled its CAREGivers in order to help them deliver exceptional end of life care and support their client families effectively. The programme provided the personal skills and resilience needed and CAREGivers are better equipped to deal with stressful and emotional situations. There has also been a 4% reduction in attrition since the programme began.

Antwerp Dental Group

IBM UK Ltd

Creating top class employees
Technology | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This global technology business believes that continuous skills development is critical in providing a valued service to its clients. Dedicated development managers provide tailored support to Early Professionals and the ‘ladder of opportunity’ in place offers training from trainee through to graduate level and beyond creating top class client facing, professional employees from the outset.

Antwerp Dental Group

Inspire

A vision of a ‘rewarding place to work’
Charities and not-for-profit | 250-999 employees | Belfast

This charity and social enterprise created Nurturing Talent for aspiring managers as a way of tackling retention issues with staff. At the heart of the charity’s strategy is a vision of health and social care being a rewarding place to work and the programme’s objectives include creating clearer progression opportunities and retaining ambitious employees. Turnover of programme delegates is 11.7% compared to the charity’s average turnover of 27.1%.

Antwerp Dental Group

JOHNSONS Workwear

Coordinated approach to talent management
Professional services | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This work wear provider established the Johnsons Academy in order to deliver a coordinated and formalised approach to talent management and succession planning, aligned to the growth of the business. Outcomes have included increased business performance and a reduction of recruitment costs saving the business £128,000.

Antwerp Dental Group

Juice Nursery Ltd

Using yoga to improve wellbeing
Education and training | 0-49 employees | Altrincham

This is an example of a nursery using yoga and positive thinking training to support the personal and professional wellbeing of its employees. The training has resulted in staff having an increased understanding as to why their own and the children’s wellbeing is so important for healthy growth and development and has led to positive feedback from parents.

Antwerp Dental Group

Lloyds Banking Group

Developing personal resilience
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Multiple locations

Against a backdrop of political and economic instability, this bank recognised the need to develop the resilience of its leaders who in turn could develop the resilience of their teams. The Resilient Leader one-day training programme was launched focusing on a top-down approach and over 5000 employees have been trained. Evaluation has shown a 32% increase in personal resilience levels following the training.

Antwerp Dental Group

Mitchells & Butlers

Creating a chef talent pipeline
Hospitality | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

In response to a chef-shortage in the hospitality sector and increased uncertainty following the Brexit vote, this hospitality organisation created an industry-leading culinary development programme – Chefs Academy. The Apprenticeship, offered at levels 2 and 3, includes masterclasses with award-winning chefs and has led to an average 70% retention rate, compared to 12% for chefs in the business not undertaking the programme.

Antwerp Dental Group

Mortgage Advice Bureau – Network Partner Scotland

Mortgage Processing Expert – Investing in all staff
Banking, insurance and finance | 50-249 employees | Edinburgh

This mortgage broker implemented a six-week training programme for its support staff in order to reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of administrative tasks and provide a smoother journey for customers. The cost of administrative tasks has reduced by 13% following the training and the ‘Application to Mortgage Offer’ timescales have also improved significantly.

Antwerp Dental Group

Mortgage Advice Bureau

MAB Academy – Meeting ambitious growth plans
Banking, insurance and finance | 50-249 employees | Multiple locations

This mortgage broker created the MAB Academy in order to meet its ambitious strategic growth plans. A four month programme is in place to recruit and train ‘brand new to the industry’ advisers. The programme runs alongside on-the-job training and industry qualifications and over 200 advisers have been trained to-date resulting in the business meeting its overarching goal of having 1,200 advisers working in the business.

Antwerp Dental Group

Oldham College

Learning from successes
Education and training | 250-999 employees | Oldham

This Further Education provider overhauled its teaching and learning after an OFSTED rating of ‘requires improvement’ in 2015. Teaching for Distinction focuses on learning from successes and an ‘open door’ policy where staff can observe other tutors in action. Teaching and learning was rated as ‘good’ by OFSTED in 2018 and the College shared its model with the wider sector at a recent Conference.

Antwerp Dental Group

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council

Opportunities for hard to reach groups
Public sector | 1000+ employees | Redcar and Cleveland

This Council re-launched its Apprenticeship programme as a way of providing opportunities for those not in education, employment or training and also to address an ageing workforce with an average age of 44-56. NEET individuals undertaking the programme has risen from 9% to 22% and 76% of those recruited in 2018-19 were under the age of 25, helping to address the issue of an older workforce.

Antwerp Dental Group

Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Sales Excellence – Impacting customers’ financial well-being
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Multiple locations

This Bank developed Sales Excellence – the first consistent bank-wide sales programme that’s ever been offered. Every employee, regardless of department or seniority, is required to undertake the initial module with over 51,000 completing this to-date. The training has provided clarity around what ethical, need-based selling looks like and has greatly restored employees’ pride in how they can positively impact customers’ financial well-being.

Antwerp Dental Group

Royal Bank of Scotland Group

Nextgen – Creating future leaders
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Global

RBS established Nextgen, a bank wide talent programme, as a long term structured approach of creating future leaders. The programme provides a range of opportunities for building competencies and capabilities and individual coach consultants enable participants to confidently develop the skills needed to better support the bank’s strategy.

Antwerp Dental Group

Royal Navy Apprenticeships

Using Apprenticeships to meet strategic priorities
Public sector | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

The Royal Navy is invested heavily in its Apprenticeship programme as a way of balancing key strategic priorities whilst meeting the needs of its complex set of stakeholders. 10-12% of the workforce is undertaking an Apprenticeship at any one time and there has been a significant focus on joining up operations to form a more coherent structure. In 2018 the programme was rated as ‘Outstanding’ by OFSTED.

Antwerp Dental Group

Snow-Camp Charity

Breaking down barriers
Charities and not-for-profit | 1-49 employees | UK-wide

This youth-led charity offers skiing and snowboarding training and opportunities to disadvantaged, inner-city young people. The programme, which offers qualifications and develops key life skills, was attended by 860 young people in 2018. 91% of young people, who completed their programme moved on to employment, further training or education at the end of the year. Since 2003, 70% of youth volunteers and apprentices have gone on to be employed in the snow sports industry.

Antwerp Dental Group

Stein IAS

Developing skills to deliver excellence
Professional services | 50-249 employees | Worldwide

This B2B marketing company is meeting fast changing priorities whilst developing employee skills needed to deliver excellence. Its Everybody Always Learning Programme, which uses a bespoke software package and visually resembles the iris of an eye, is making learning a shared cross-company initiative whilst focusing on the bespoke needs of the individual.

Antwerp Dental Group

Tata Steel

Schooling apprentices in purpose-built academy
Manufacturing | 1000+ employees | Port Talbot

This steel-producing company decided to reinvigorate its Apprenticeship programme in the face of an ageing workforce and competitive marketplace. The business brought the training in-house, investing in its own training centre and the expertise and knowledge of its staff. Tata Steel now has a ready-made pipeline of talent and has significantly reduced external training costs.

Antwerp Dental Group

The Co-op

Listen, Fix and Act
Retail | 1000+ employees | UK-wide

In response to a Listen, Fix and Act initiative to find out what colleagues wanted to change, The Co-op decided to reinvigorate its Apprenticeship programmes offering clearer pathways of progression for staff. 68% Customer Team Members were promoted to Team Leaders by the end of their level 2 programme and 20% degree level apprentices were promoted in their first year with 99% still working for the business.

Antwerp Dental Group

Unipart Group

Resetting the culture to achieve results
Travel, transport and logistics| 1000+ employees | UK-wide

This UK manufacturer wanted to reach new markets which meant that its workforce needed to grow in order to take on more diverse workloads and roles. The Unipart Way was created as a way of resetting the company culture. The framework is a set of 18 principles upon which the tools and techniques for the business are based. A total of £4.3 million in cost savings has been made since its inception.

Antwerp Dental Group

Veolia

People Development – Delivering ‘Expect Respect’ training to at-risk staff
Energy, chemicals and utilities | 1000+ employees | Multiple locations

A UK-leader in environmental solutions, Veolia developed the ‘Respect At Work’ campaign along with a training programme to better manage abuse that street cleansing and collections staff receive from the public. 97% of the staff trained said that they had gained a new skill and incidents are more widely reported as there is increased trust in the business to resolve issues effectively.

Antwerp Dental Group

Walker Construction

Innovative approach to mental health training
Construction and engineering | 50-249 employees | Folkestone

This construction company has developed an innovative and multifaceted approach to mental health training, creating a robust support service for its staff. The business has established free counselling support available to all employees and their families and is offering varied training to different job roles including an interactive quiz, videos and a group task which can take place on-site rather than in the classroom.

Antwerp Dental Group

Wilko

Developing a sustainable improvement culture
Retail | 1000+ employees | Worksop

This organisation was the first retailer in the UK to launch the Improvement Apprenticeships. Its aim was to embed continuous improvement into the daily work of all Wilko’s employees in order to deliver its strategic vision. By evolving the Continuous Improvement team and empowering its staff, the business has created sustainable solutions and delivered improvement projects worth over £11 million to date.

Antwerp Dental Group

Zenith

Apprenticeship Programme – Finding the leaders of tomorrow
Travel, transport and logistics | 250-999 employees | Leeds and Solihull

This independent fleet management, leasing and vehicle outsourcing business has huge growth aspirations within an industry facing a skills shortage. To address this head on, Zenith developed an Apprenticeship programme to support the local community and also build its own talent pipeline. 90% of apprentices trained are still working for the business.

2018 Standard Achievers

Find out more about the 2018 recipients!

They all demonstrated that training and skills development can make a significant impact on business success.

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