From education to employment

The ‘best of the best’ honoured at National Training Awards

Four businesses and an outstanding training manager were honoured at a prestigious awards ceremony yesterday for their outstanding contribution and commitment to training, learning and development.

They were crowned the ‘best of the best’ at the National Training Awards 2011 at ExCeL London.

The winners included nuclear company Magnox Limited for training 50 radiographers to fill a national skills gap, and Tata Global Beverages, which manufacture the famous Tetley tea-bags, for saving themselves £2m by training 55 of their 450-strong staff to develop leaner business practices.

The Meningitis Trust was named Small Employer of the Year for introducing a 2-year programme to boost the morale and confidence of staff and trustees.
As a result, annual recruitment costs have dropped from £30,000 – £7,000, the trust now supports 20% more people, without any increase in cost, and it has established a major donor programme.

Brother Industries UK Limited won the prize for medium-sized employer, and Robert Jackson, training manager at Preston-based Recycling Lives, won the Linda Ammon Award for inspiring his colleagues and having a real impact in his workplace.

His health and safety training programme has saved the company £70,000 in insurance premiums and he often goes beyond the call of duty, offering employees help and advice, even late at night, so they can keep their jobs.

Winning can boost an organisation’s success. According to the organisers, forty percent of recent winners reported a rise in profits, one in five won additional contracts and a third said their organisations became more efficient.

Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis presented the awards, and celebrity chef Brian Turner hosted a confectionery showcase featuring a ‘cook off’ between two former Team UK Worldskills competitors.

The National Training Awards are given to employers who can show that they have tailored their training to the needs of the organisation and that their organisations have benefited as a result.

The awards are sponsored by City and Guilds and the Independent College Partnership.

The winners, who all won regional heats in their categories, joined other winners from across England, Northern Ireland and Wales to fight it out to become Winners of the Year.

John Hayes, Minister of State for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning, said: “I would like to congratulate all the winners in this year’s National Training Awards. It is a fantastic achievement and one they should rightly be proud of.

“It is more important than ever for organisations to follow the example of these companies and continue to invest in the development of their staff. We will only be able to achieve sustainable economic growth if we have people with the skills to meet the demands of today’s globalised economy.”

Rachel Salmon

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