Currently in its sixth year, The Princess Royal Training Awards recognise and celebrate organisations across the United Kingdom which have demonstrated exceptional commitment to training and development. Despite facing unprecedented challenges due to Covid-19, the organisations receiving this standard of excellence have created and delivered highly engaging training programmes which have resulted in significant measurable impact.
Organisations receiving the award in 2021 differ in size and include a diverse range of sectors. Large national employers such as Barclays, HMRC and Sky UK through to smaller organisations such as local radio station Diverse FM and children’s charity The Mulberry Bush, are among those to have received this year’s awards. Lloyds Banking Group and Medical Defence Union have each received two awards for two different workplace programmes.
With organisations facing some of the toughest times in history due to the pandemic, many have had to use training to address and adapt to changing business needs. The Master Inn holders created an Aspiring Leaders Programme which develops staff in the hospitality sector all across the UK. The programme provides strong online support, offers an ILM level 3 qualification and has kept learners engaged during what has been a particularly challenging time for the industry. Despite the difficulties this industry has faced over the past year, 92% of learners from the previous three virtual cohorts are still working in hospitality.
Several of this year’s Princess Royal Training Awards recipients have innovatively used training as a way of addressing skills shortages and skills gaps in their sector. In response to national skills shortages and increased pressure on the healthcare sector throughout the pandemic, Caring Homes Ltd created an in-house programme to train overseas recruits to become nurses. 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.
This year, newly created Covid Commendations have been awarded to five organisations that have used training particularly effectively to respond to the organisational challenges caused by the pandemic. Those highly commended in the new Covid-19 response category include previous award recipients Antwerp Dental, BalfourBeatty, Dermalogica, Resurgo Trust and The Donkey Sanctuary.
KirstieDonnelly MBE, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group said: “The last 18 months have caused disruption to the way most organisations operate which has led to major changes for all of us in how we live and work. Despite these challenges, it’s fantastic to see so many organisations’ continued commitment to training and development as well as the positive and life changing impact learning can have on people.
“The introduction of the Covid Commendation highlights some of the brilliant work these organisations have been doing to overcome the challenges and the lasting effects of the pandemic. The applications have been truly inspiring, and we are really looking forward to bringing award recipients together and celebrating a tour annual ceremony later this year.”
Previous recipients of a Princess Royal Training Award have reported clear positive impacts on their business, with 82% saying it has improved recruitment and retention and 62% reporting increased investments into training programmes. This will be paramount when it comes to helping businesses recover post-covid, closing sector skills gaps and promoting a culture of skills development.
For the full list of recipients and their training programmes, please see the 2021 recipients’ page.