From education to employment

Princess Royal recognises 44 leading business for L&D programmes

From leading banking groups to local businesses and charities, HRH Princess Royal and the City & Guilds Group recognise inspirational employers for their commitment to learning and development

44 UK organisations including IBM, The Co-Op and Lloyds Banking Group, are celebrating after being commended with a Princess Royal Training Award for their workplace learning at a ceremony held at St James’s Palace in London last night.

Presented by HRH Princess Anne and delivered by the City and Guilds Group, the Princess Royal Training Awards, now in their fourth year, celebrate exceptional training and development programmes across the country.

Ranging from apprenticeship schemes and interactive workshops to mental health and employee wellbeing programmes, the businesses recognised this year displayed an exceptional dedication into training, upskilling and reskilling their workforce. Crucially, all were able to prove that the training had a substantial impact on their organisation and its people.

Included in the list of recipients are leading public and private businesses of various sizes across a wide range of sectors, including banking, non-profit, childcare, security and manufacturing. Each recipient has been recognised for their innovative vision and dedication to addressing the specific challenges their industries face with highly effective training schemes. These include:

  • The global defence company BAE Systems established a one-day mental health awareness workshop in order to manage its employees’ duty of care and maximise productivity of the business.
  • The Clink charity equipped its staff to train, assess and support offenders to encourage them to gain City & Guilds qualifications in hospitality and catering, making them less likely to re-offend.
  • Construction and engineering company Bouygues invested in a Building Your Leadership Signature programme to support managers to lead and inspire rather than command and control. The programme includes a Dragon’s Den simulation where teams can present business proposals.
  • Scotland’s leading bank RBS was commended with two awards. One for establishing Nextgen, a bank wide talent programme to develop the skills needed to create stronger future leaders for the company. The second for its Sales Excellence programme, the first consistent bank-wide sales programme for every employee.
  • In response to a chef shortage exacerbated by Brexit, hospitality organisation Mitchells & Butler created an industry-leading Chefs Academy, offering level 2 and 3 apprenticeships. The programme significantly boosted retention rates in the business.
  • British supermarket chain The Co-op reinvigorated its apprenticeship programmes by offering clearer pathways of progression for staff.

Commenting on this year’s recipients and ceremony Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City and Guilds Group, said:

“The Princess Royal Training Awards are a highlight of the year, as we come together to celebrate the outstanding work of businesses around the country who put learning and development firmly at the top of their agenda. The remarkable employers we recognised last night demonstrate the power that comes from investing in people and training as a vehicle to strengthen organisations and open up opportunities for people.

“We hope that business leaders everywhere will be inspired by the efforts of this year’s PRTA recipients and go the extra mile to ensure their workforce is fit for the future.”

Previous winners have seen significant benefits after being awarded a Princess Royal Training Award. According to a 2019 survey of previous recipients, the awards added significant value to their organisation: 

  • 74% of participants said it helped with staff retention
  • 50% said it led to an increased investment into future training programmes training
  • 70% said they value their training / L&D programmes being benchmarked against organisations across multiple industries

Now in its fourth year, the Princess Royal Training Awards honours employers in the UK who have created outstanding training and skills development programmes which have resulted in exceptional commercial benefits. The Princess Royal Training Awards recognise the achievement of a standard of excellence rather than selecting overall winners.

The awards are supported by the City & Guilds Group President, HRH The Princess Royal, who is an active advocate for skills development.

Applications were assessed against three hallmarks of excellence:

  1. Training/learning and development is integral to business performance
  2. The programme is designed and delivered efficiently and effectively
  3. The programme has an impact on the success of the organisation and its people   

The successful organisations for 2019 are:

  • BAE Systems
  • Balfour Beatty
  • Barlows (UK) Ltd
  • Bouygues Energies & Services UK
  • CAIS
  • Canal Engineering Ltd
  • Childbase Partnership
  • Coleg Sir Gar/Coleg Ceredigion
  • Countrywide Conveyancing Services
  • CVQO Ltd
  • Cyfle Building Skills Ltd
  • Dermalogica UK Ltd
  • Dorchester Collection
  • DVLA
  • Elior UK
  • Essity UK Ltd
  • Exponential-e
  • Gateshead College
  • Go North East
  • Greencore Group
  • GSK
  • Home Instead Senior Care
  • IBM UK Ltd
  • Inspire
  • JOHNSONS Workwear
  • Juice Nursery Ltd
  • Lloyds Banking Group
  • Mitchells & Butlers
  • Mortgage Advice Bureau – Network Partner Scotland
  • Mortgage Advice Bureau
  • Oldham College
  • Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council
  • Royal Bank of Scotland Group
  • Royal Navy Apprenticeships
  • Snow-Camp Charity
  • Stein IAS
  • Tata Steel
  • The Clink Charity
  • The Co-op
  • Unipart Group
  • Veolia
  • Walker Construction
  • Wilko
  • Zenith

The City & Guilds Group is a world leader in skills development. Working in over 100 countries across the world, our purpose is to enable people and organisations to develop their skills for growth.

From setting the standard for on-the-job training through to supporting skills development around the world, the City & Guilds Group has 140 years’ experience in preparing people to contribute to successful businesses and thriving economies.

Our brands support people into a job, on the job and into the next job.

  • Skills credentialing: City & Guilds, ILM and Digitalme develop qualifications and assessments from entry level through to management. They also accredit skills training and help individuals to showcase their skills through digital credentialing using open badges.
  • Corporate learning: Kineo and The Oxford Group are our corporate training and development brands, supporting everything from large-scale training programmes, workforce management and e-learning through to bespoke management training and executive coaching.
  • Technical training: Gen2, our newest brand, is a technical training provider delivering skills training in engineering and technology for the UK civil nuclear industry.

Related Articles