Congratulations to the 48 recipients who have achieved the standard in 2021!

These organisations have shown a commitment to investing in their people.

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Congratulations to this year’s #PrincessRoyalTrainingAwards recipients! It’s fantastic to see the great work of so many organisations has been royally recognised! Read more about the recipients here: bit.ly/PRTA2021

46 businesses across the UK recognised by HRH The Princess Royal for excellence in training and development in 2021

HRH The Princess Royal, President of City & Guilds, awards employers who have created outstanding training and skills development programmes which have resulted in measurable business impact over the last 12 months Recipients include those that have...

Celebrating the Award class of 2020

On 15 December, we celebrated the innovative training and development successes of the 43 recipients who achieved a Princess Royal Training Award in 2020. By necessity the ceremony was a little different this year. Whilst it needed to take place virtually rather than...
Willis Towers Watson

3P innovation Ltd

Investing in graduates to reduce staff turnover
Manufacturing | 50-249 employees | Warwick

This engineering and process automation company developed a Graduate Recruitment Programme to increase staff retention and attract more graduates into the business. All programme objectives have been met, staff turnover has dropped to 3% against a sector average of 27% and the business has grown annually by 23%.

Willis Towers Watson

Allegis Group

Successfully adapting its business model
Professional Services | 1000+ employees | Bracknell

This talent solutions company needed to refocus due to the decline in the need for contract staff during the pandemic. An in-house programme was developed to train employees to sell solutions to help solve clients’ wider business challenges. Income from selling these services has increased exponentially and 50% of Allegis’s business now focuses on Managed Services compared to 20% previously.

Willis Towers Watson

Ashfield MedComms, an Ashfield Health company

Providing career opportunities for entry-level staff
Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 250-999 employees | Macclesfield

Ashfield MedComms identified the need to develop a programme to sustain the growth of its business and provide career opportunities for medical writers. It created the allegro programme to develop writers and provide entry-level staff with the initial step into a career in medical communications. Outcomes include a 79% graduation rate and 151 new writers joining the business.

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BAE Systems plc

Creating skill for the future
Aviation and defence | 1000+ employees | London

BAE Systems works in a complex manufacturing environment with scarce STEM skills and ageing workforce challenges. Underpinned by a clear strategy, BAE has used its Apprenticeship initiative not only to protect itself against large scale retirements but also to take the opportunity to grow into new markets for which skills do not currently exist in the marketplace. Apprenticeship standards are augmented by additional layers to create rounded and productive employees who reward the business with hard work and loyalty.

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Barclays

Learning is embedded and accessible
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Manchester

Barclays Bank’s specialist function Barclays Financial Assistance needed to respond to significant organisational and reputational challenges as its vulnerable customer base reacted to the impact of the pandemic. The bank upskilled key customer-facing staff dealing with challenging and emotive customer issues and it’s clear to see that personal development through learning is embedded and accessible to all staff across the business.

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BJSS

Actively supporting women into the tech industry
Technology | 1000+ employees | Manchester

BJSS delivers world-class technology solutions embracing strategy, software, cloud, data, AI and automation. It created an in-house training Academy as a response to IT skills shortages in the sector. Since 2017 over 250 recruits have started at the Academy with a retention rate of 91.9% and its last intake comprised of 34% females whereas women typically represent less than 20% of the workforce.

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Bouygues Energies and Services Solutions

Attract, Train, and Retain
Construction and engineering | 1000+ employees | London

Bouygues Energies and Services offers engineering and service capabilities. In response to the challenges it faced recruiting talent in a competitive marketplace, the business created a Graduate Development Programme. A model of placement rotations means graduates experience different work areas and female recruitment onto the programme has risen by 43% in three years.

Willis Towers Watson

Bridgend College

Positive behaviours rippling outwards
Education and training | 250-999 employees | Bridgend

Bridgend College realised that improving the skills and capabilities of middle managers was critical to improving its culture and performance. In partnership with a local housing association it created a Person-Centred Leadership Programme. Positive changed behaviours rippled outwards, the College is seen as a leadership expert, 62 staff have been promoted and 93% staff feel that the College is meeting or exceeding their expectations.

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Caring Homes

Creating a culture of inclusivity and support
Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | Multiple locations

This respected care provider created an in-house programme to train overseas recruits to become nurses and address a national skills shortage. As well as securing a valuable workforce, Caring Homes has created a culture of inclusivity, fully supporting international trainees to pass the required exam whilst offering wider pastoral support. Pass rates for 2020-21 have increased by 11% compared to previous years.

Willis Towers Watson

CGI

An effective pipeline of leadership talent
Technology | 1000+ employees | Bridgend

CGI provides IT and consulting services in 30 countries with 6,000 employees working in the UK. The company initiated the Leadership for Growth programme as a means of upskilling managers to become leaders. 40% programme graduates have been promoted to Director roles, retention of graduates is between 96-100% and graduates receive higher performance ratings in the business.

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Countrywide Conveyancing Services

Upskilling from within to meet growth demand
Professional services | 250-999 employees | Cardiff

This large provider of residential conveyancing realised that its growth plans could be affected by a shortage of trained lawyers. The business saw an opportunity to recruit existing staff into paralegal positions and fast track candidates into fee-earning roles. The programme which mixes legal theory and experiential learning has led to paralegals exchanging on a total of 752 files in 2020.

Willis Towers Watson

Coutts & Co

Collaborative problem solving leading to significant business benefits
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | London

This private bank worked with performance psychology company Mindflick to develop THiNK: a leadership programme to help leaders get the best out of themselves and others. The programme which includes collaborative problem-solving has led to significant financial outcomes, a 44% increase in promotion success and a 23% rise in staff engagement.

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Dermalogica UK

Instilling confidence to deliver outstanding customer service
Manufacturing | 250-999 employees | Leatherhead

This skin care brand sought to reinvent how therapists worked with customers in an omni-channel world to ensure a consistent customer experience. The CLEAR framework was launched to deliver training through internal expertise and it has resulted in a palpable confidence boost for employees. Sales targets have increased by 18% and 5* customer reviews have been achieved.

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Diverse FM Community Media

Providing opportunities for all
Education and training | <50 employees | Luton

This small radio station and training provider has delivered an OCN accredited Radio Broadcasting and Presenting training programme since 2000. The station actively targets its outreach to areas of social deprivation in the area and it welcomes people of any age, those who are not in education, employment or training, at risk of offending or who are experiencing other socio-economic inequalities. Over 75 people now work as volunteers enabling 24/7 broadcasting and long-term sustainability of the station.

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DVLA

Designing a coherent, joined-up approach
Travel, transport and logistics | 1000+ employees | Swansea

DVLA wanted to create a more coherent, cost-effective and joined-up approach across its Operational and Customer Services Directorate. Designing a learning pathways map has worked as the scaffolding for the initiative and following the first lockdown DVLA was able to redeploy staff who had been trained during the pandemic to focus on work that had built up, resulting in significantly reducing the backlog.

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EDM Zone Ltd

Creating a legacy by training apprentices
Construction and engineering | <50 employees | Newcastle

This small business which specialises in precision engineering decided to recruit school leavers and train them to become high quality engineers. The owner of the business is a former apprentice and wanted to provide the same opportunity they had by offering an Apprenticeship. 22 of the 25 employees came via the Apprenticeship route and the retention level of apprentices is 100%.

Willis Towers Watson

Elysium Healthcare

Exceeding expectations by bringing training in-house
Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 1000+ employees | Borehamwood

To address acute nursing shortages, Elysium Healthcare identified the need to recruit and train 300 international nurses over 3 years. It created a training programme for nurses with a KPI of an 80% first time pass rate of the industry-recognised exam. By bringing the training in-house the organisation reduced learning time by half and increased first time pass rates to over 90%. Over 250 nurses have been trained with 220 retained and 28 promoted.

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Errigal

Equipping apprentices with career and life skills
Construction and engineering | 50-249 employees | Londonderry

This construction company established its own Apprenticeship Training Academy to address a shortage of skilled professionals and an ageing workforce. Over the past 5 years, 102 apprentices have completed the programme and 78 are still in training. Combining classroom-based training with on-site experience Errigal also equips trainees with life skills to prepare them for working away from home.

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Exponential-e

Upskilling staff to sell confidently during the pandemic
Technology | 250-999 employees | London

This company, which provides Cloud support and IT services, saw a substantial drop in revenue as clients began to cancel orders due to the pandemic. It decided to focus on Cloud-support products and needed to upskill employees to sell these solutions confidently. 43 clinics were held where 841 individuals learned in short, sharp sessions about the products. Following the training revenue has increased by 56%.

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Eyres Monsell Primary School

Supporting staff’s wellbeing and mental health
Education and training | <50 employees | Leicester

This primary school, based in an area with significant deprivation, created the Spotlight Programme to develop teacher self-efficacy and mental health due to feedback that many of the staff were struggling to cope. Following the rollout of the programme, attrition of Newly Qualified Teachers has reduced to nil and the capacity for staff to manage their wellbeing has increased with 84% continuing to access coaching.

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HMRC Counter Fraud Academy

Initiating a new L&D approach
Public Sector | 1000+ employees | Multiple locations

The Counter Fraud Academy delivers criminal justice training to HMRC investigators and intelligence officers. Following two breaches of policy in 2018, a new L&D policy was put into place to upskill employees. Over 2500 officers have been trained using real life scenarios and expectations and targets have been exceeded.

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IBM

Skilling interns to create the future workforce
Technology | 1000+ employees | Warwick

Against the backdrop of a well-documented skills gap in the tech industry, coupled with the changing nature of the tech skills required, this global leader relies on its intern programme. 3,500 interns have been trained since 2008 and the company has committed to extend the programme to 120 new interns annually for the next 5 years. Through this programme the business is addressing a fundamental strategic need and creating a skilled future workforce.

Willis Towers Watson

Lee Marley Brickwork Ltd

Investing in developing its workforce
Construction and engineering | 250-999 employees | Reading

Lee Marley Brickwork is a specialist contractor providing brickwork, stonework and scaffolding services. In 2016 it established an Apprenticeship programme to develop competent staff and attract the best new talent. As a former apprentice, the owner is passionate about creating a holistic programme going beyond construction skills by also developing the behaviour and confidence of its apprentices.

Willis Towers Watson

Lloyds Banking Group

LAMA – Providing structured learning for aspiring leaders
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Gloucester

The UK’s largest retail bank created the Leadership and Management Accelerator to provide a structured learning solution for aspiring leaders. The programme has resulted in high levels of engagement with ample evidence of successful application of learning in the workplace. Over 7000 staff have accessed at least one module of the programme and many have accessed over twenty modules.

Willis Towers Watson

Lloyds Banking Group

Your Best – Believing its people make the difference
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Bristol

Lloyds Banking Group believes its people sets it apart from the competition, so its performance management approach must be outstanding. Following a year of research, transformational culture change programme Your Best was introduced. To date more than 65,000 have participated in the programme out of a workforce of approximately 70,000, the programme has been transformational and the business feels better equipped to achieve its long-term strategy.

Willis Towers Watson

Majestic 12 Ltd

Addressing gender imbalance in the tech sector
Technology | <50 employees | Birmingham

Majestic 12 is a small technology organisation which specialises in ‘internet cartography’ by mapping the internet. It achieved the Award in 2018 and has resubmitted its undergraduate industrial placement programme in 2021. In the last three years the programme has improved and the business has developed the process of providing further opportunities for female specialists

Willis Towers Watson

Master Innholders

Engaging learners through challenging times
Hospitality | <50 employees | Fleet

The Master Innholders created an Aspiring Leaders Programme which develops staff in the hospitality sector from across the UK. The programme, which has kept learners engaged during a challenging time for the sector, provides strong online support and an ILM level 3 qualification. Before the pandemic trainees visited other hotels to learn from what they had to offer and 92% learners from the past three cohorts are still working in the sector.

Willis Towers Watson

Medical Defence Union

Membership Development Path – Delivering high quality levels of service
Professional services | 250-999 employees | London

MDU places a high priority on the quality of service that it provides to its members. To achieve the required service level, member-facing staff must have extensive knowledge and a commitment to deliver a high standard of service. The organisation created its Membership Development Path which has led to a significant improvement in staff retention, reduction in recruitment costs and a 10% increase in member satisfaction scores.

Willis Towers Watson

Medical Defence Union

Medico-legal Assistant Training Programme – Upskilling non-medics to continue meeting members’ needs
Professional services | 250-999 employees | London

This members-owned, not-for-profit organisation which provides medical and legal advice to healthcare professionals needed to upskill non-medics to work alongside doctors in order to continue to provide a cost effective service. Through the Medico-legal Assistant Training Programme advisers now support on cases, freeing up medical staff’s time, membership numbers are up and members’ satisfaction scores have increased.

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Mini Me Yoga

Training Ambassadors to support children’s wellbeing
Education and Training | <50 employees | London

Set up to support children’s physical and mental wellbeing through a series of yoga training programmes, Mini Me Yoga is delivered through self-employed Ambassadors. Exceptional training is provided to Ambassadors and no previous experience is required. This has led to the creation of a sustainable business model and 27,000 children undertaking a yoga class in 2020-21.

Willis Towers Watson

Mojatu Foundation

Initiating change through educating about FGM
Education and training | <50 employees | Nottingham

This community-led charity created the Global Ambassadors for Change programme to address the rise of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK. Working with Faith Leaders and Youth Groups, the charity has trained 44 Ambassadors who help to engage and educate communities about the consequences and dangers of FGM. The programme’s success has led to replica programmes in other regions.

Willis Towers Watson

Mortgage Advice Bureau

Using innovative technology to meet ambitious growth targets
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Derby

As one of the UK’s leading consumer intermediary brands in the financial sector, Mortgage Advice Bureau needed to transform its onboarding programme for Advisors in order to meet ambitious growth plans. The digital programme, which uses an impressive blend of on-demand and live webinars, has offered the ability to train 650 Advisors annually and has led to savings of £75,000 from using a digital rather than face-to-face approach.

Willis Towers Watson

MPCT

Providing a catalyst to open up about mental health
Education and training | 50-249 employees | Cardiff

Following research showing that 98% of managers didn’t feel confident having wellbeing conversations with staff, this training provider developed and delivered an inhouse programme focusing on mental health and wellbeing. The training has acted as a catalyst for significant culture change with 70% of trainees going on to undertake suicide prevention training.

Willis Towers Watson

Mulberry Bush Organisation

Developing confidence leading to improved outcomes
Charities and not-for-profit | 50-249 employees | Whitney, Oxford

This charitable organisation works with emotionally troubled and traumatised children and their families. The Working with Trauma programme was created to improve the quality of training across the whole staff team. Through self-reflection and continued coaching support employees have developed confidence and are more resilient to tackle difficult situations. The outstanding results are evidenced by the Ofsted inspections and improved outcomes for the children.

Willis Towers Watson

Portico

Creating a people-centred approach to career development
Professional services | 250-999 employees | London

This professional services company wanted to create a people-centred approach to training and developed the 5 Pathways solution as a way of providing career development options for all. This approach has significantly improved access to training and empowered people to decide which pathway to follow. There has been a 135% uplift in training and it has led to a 4.76 out of 5 average staff satisfaction score.

Willis Towers Watson

Protect Line

Training to meet ambitious growth targets
Banking, insurance and finance | 250-999 employees | Poole

This life insurance brokerage needed to increase the number of new starters from five to fifteen per month to meet its ambitious growth targets. This presented a challenge to provide a cost-effective way to develop trainees whilst ensuring quality was maintained. The Sales Academy programme was developed and 250 staff have been trained to-date. Early attrition has been reduced by 7% and learners who have been through the programme out-perform their counterparts.

Willis Towers Watson

PwC

Positively disrupting the business to drive change
Professional services | 1000+ employees | London

PwC develops tailored solutions to meet business challenges for its clients. It created the Digital Accelerators Programme to positively disrupt the business to lead and drive change. The innovative programme which includes the use of facial recognition software, gamification and use of holograms has led to widespread impact across the business including changes in mindsets and the propensity to drive change.

Willis Towers Watson

RBH

Changing behaviours through transformation
Charities and not-for-profit | 250-999 employees | Rochdale

Rochdale Boroughwide Housing (RBH) is the UK’s first tenant and employee co-owned mutual housing society, with over 12,000 homes. It created the Refreshing Repairs Transformation Programme to improve service delivery whilst making cost-savings. The training has led to a significant change in behaviours and an increase in appointments being made and kept of 3.7%.

Willis Towers Watson

Reassured Ltd

Using Emotional Intelligence to create capable leaders
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Basingstoke

Reassured Ltd is a protection intermediary providing life insurance, funeral plans and financial services products to its customers. In 2018 with incredible staff growth and turnover at 50% the company needed to better equip people to lead and change its culture. It introduced a bespoke leadership programme using Emotional Intelligence. By investing in its people it has improved retention, reduced sickness absence and created real opportunities for its employees.

Willis Towers Watson

Sky UK

Transforming trainees’ customer service skills
Telecoms | 1000+ employees | Glasgow

Sky UK launched Start@sky to better equip Customer Service Advisors to deal with customer calls effectively. The induction programme has transformed trainees’ confidence levels and prepared them to manage difficult calls. Advisors are trained within 12 weeks compared to previous training taking 6 months. Net promoter scores have increased significantly and there has been considerable cost savings to the business.

Willis Towers Watson

Sparta Global

Encouraging the tech sector to be more diverse
Education and training | 250-999 employees | London

This technology services company upskills trainees to deliver technical expertise to over 100 business across the UK, including the Home Office and ASOS. It created the Fairness Through Language programme to improve its inclusive culture and educate that words have power. The programme is having an impact on behaviours, policy and practice and the business has increased both its recruitment of females and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Willis Towers Watson

Thames Skills Academy

Saving lives by implementing river safety education
Education and training | <50 employees | London

This non-profit was established to raise safety standards and improve the skills of those working on the River Thames. By creating the Riverside Personal Safety Course, the organisation has addressed a huge gap in a largely unregulated sector and met its ambitious targets of reducing incidents on the river by 10% per annum.

Willis Towers Watson

The Educ8 Training Group

Equipping employees with skills, knowledge and expertise
Education and training | 50-249 employees | Ystrad Mynach

The Educ8 Group delivers Apprenticeship programmes and training across a variety of sectors. It created the Workforce Development Programme to equip its employees with the right skills, knowledge and expertise to do their roles effectively. The programme has led to increased staff morale and improved feedback from apprentices with 87% rating sessions as excellent and 100% rating trainers’ ability to plan and adapt programmes as excellent.

Willis Towers Watson

Towergate Insurance (Ardonagh Group)

Enabling and developing female leaders
Banking, insurance and finance | 1000+ employees | Norwich

This collection of insurance and advisory businesses wanted to address the lack of women in senior positions in the Group. The Women in Leadership programme was developed to increase and enhance leadership skills, develop confidence and build resilience to enable female leaders to take the next career step. 48 participants have attended the programme and numbers of women in senior leadership have risen from 7% to 12%.

Willis Towers Watson

Unique Senior Care

Identifying potential and growing talent
Pharmaceuticals and healthcare | 50-249 employees | The Midlands and Gloucestershire

This care company identified that investing in the development of managers was key to its growth ambitions. It initiated a leadership development programme to identify potential and grow talent. The company has created career opportunities for employees, an inclusive and loyal culture and alongside this quality care is being provided to some of the most vulnerable in our society.

Willis Towers Watson

WenLin Chinese School

Delivering effective teaching virtually
Education and training | <50 employees | London

Making online learning more memorable and enjoyable was not simply a way of engaging its learners, it was a matter of financial survival for this small language school in 2020. As the world moved to doing things virtually, teacher training was provided to share new way of delivering lessons successfully online. Teachers feel supported and empowered to discuss new methods and student numbers have increased from 113 in 2020 to 137 in 2021.

Willis Towers Watson

Willis Towers Watson

Accelerating capabilities and career opportunities
Professional services | 1000+ employees | Birmingham

Increasing automation meant junior employees were taught the theory but received less hands-on technical experience in this global advisory, broking and solutions company. To address this the Pathfinder programme was launched to provide staff with the skills, confidence and experience to enable them to become effective client-facing consultants. Junior employees are delivering value to the business at an earlier stage while accelerating their own capabilities and careers.

Willis Towers Watson

Xtrac Limited

Developing a sustainable talent pipeline
Manufacturing | 250-999 employees | Thatcham

Xtrac is a world-leading manufacturer of transmission solutions for motorsports and the high-performance automotive industry. It decided to expand its well-established Apprenticeship programme alongside creating a purpose-built apprentice school to address the issue an ageing workforce and to ensure a sustainable future for the business. 75% apprentices remain with the business after 5 years.

Training response to Covid

We invited past recipients to show how they’ve used training positively or innovatively to continue to deliver organisational goals and increase impact during the pandemic. Find out about the 30 organisations including five who were Highly Commended.

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