Today (15 Aug), on Princess Anne’s birthday, the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission (PRTAs) is delighted to announce that 48 workplace learning programmes have been recognised for an award in 2019.

Established by global skills development body City & Guilds Group and now in their fourth year, the PRTAs recognise employers with outstanding training and development programmes that have had a direct impact on business performance.

Organisations that met the standard in 2019 range from global firms IBM, GSK and Veolia, to local businesses with fewer than 50 employees - such as Juice Nursery based outside Manchester - and charities, including The Clink that work in prisons to reduce reoffending. Of the 44 organisations commended, four will receive awards for two separate training schemes; RBS, Gateshead College, Exponential-e and the Mortgage Advice Bureau.

The full list of recipients includes public and private sector businesses of all sizes and across a wide range of industries, from financial services to retail, non-profit, healthcare and manufacturing. All recipients were subject to a rigorous assessment process and will receive their Awards from HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony held in London in October.

Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group said,

“We were thrilled with the quality and variety of entries this year. The work that HR and L&D teams do to train, upskill and reskill teams is critical; helping individuals to reach their potential and find meaningful employment, while supporting businesses in developing the skills for success, and ultimately producing the productive workforce we so urgently need. The organisations we recognise today all provide compelling evidence that tangibly proves the value that comes from investing in people.”

This year saw clear trends in the types of training programmes demonstrating exceptional quality and impact. Apprenticeship programmes have become a mainstay and focus of learning and development for many organisations, including Barlow’s (UK) Ltd, whose expansion programme is underpinned by its significant apprenticeship investment.

There was a noticeable trend for organisations such as BAE Systems and Walker Construction, to take a more holistic view of employee well-being and offer ‘preventative’ learning and development - focusing on issues of mental health and its impact not only within the workplace but as a ‘whole life’ problem. Leadership training was also prevalent, as seen with industrial conglomerate Bouygues Energies, which reported substantial business performance returns from a culture-change initiative that supported managers to ‘lead and inspire’ rather than ‘command and control’.

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Chris Jones continued, “It is hugely encouraging to see businesses prioritising skills development in areas where we are seeing the most pressing skills gaps – such as leadership. In a period of increasing uncertainty, we need organisations who are willing to go the extra mile in developing talent fit for the future. We look forward to celebrating and sharing the inspirational work of all the PRTA winners who have so unequivocally demonstrated measurable results from their training.”

Previous winners have reported a number of benefits arising from the awards, including increased investment into training programmes, improved recruitment and retention, and getting HR and L&D a place at the table when it comes to business strategy.

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