Local employers receive prestigious award at St James’s Palace ceremony for innovative skills training

A number of employers from across the North West are celebrating after being commended for their commitment to training and skills development by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at a ceremony at St James’s Palace in London yesterday, Thursday 2 November.    

Innovative tech firm Brother UK and family plumbing business Arthur Padgett Ltd join North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust and Stockport Council, and other winners from across the public and private sector and a wide range of industries including hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing. All demonstrated their ability to create lasting impact by successfully linking their skills development needs to their business models.

Businesses in the North West were highly commended for their training programmes, with the region hailed by organisers for setting an example to the rest of the country. This builds on the success of local businesses in the 2016 awards, including Hilti GB Limited, Home Instead Senior Care and Fujitsu.

Bolton-based North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust was one of 40 organisations honoured, in recognition of their Women into Leadership programme, which aims to address gender imbalances at leadership levels. The programme represents a deliberate, systematic and funded approach to maximising the Trust’s use of the talent of its female staff. Following the launch of the programme, the number of female senior paramedics has increased by eight per cent in just two years.

Apprentices have always been the ‘life-blood’ of Nelson-based Arthur Padgett Ltd, family-run plumbing business. Run by a former apprentice, their commitment to offering apprenticeships has seen them through challenging times, allowing them to grow and diversify. They are now actively involved in devising qualification standards for the sector.

The judges were also particularly impressed with Stockport Council’s well-established and highly effective apprenticeship programme, which has encouraged young people into education, employment and training, diversified the council as a workplace and removed barriers to vulnerable young people undertaking training.

At Brother UK’s head office in Manchester, an incentive-based approach to staff training has helped to reduce absenteeism and build succession planning in the business. Training is matched to the individual employees work needs through a matrix-model, ensuring that staff remain up-to-date on cutting edge technology skills relevant to their roles.

The Princess Royal Training Awards are delivered by the City & Guilds Group, to highlight the value of training and employee development and celebrate examples of best practice. In total 116 applications were submitted in 2017. Shortlisted applications are assessed against three Hallmarks of Excellence by the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission, which is comprised of HRH The Princess Royal and seven leading figures in the business and training community.

Commenting on this year’s recipients, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group said: It’s fantastic to celebrate the second annual Princess Royal Training Awards and honour so many businesses from the North West. The businesses in this region set an example for the rest of the country.

It has never been more important for businesses around Britain to invest in training to boost their productivity, address skills gaps and develop their leaders. The successful companies of the future will be those like these winners that prioritise developing their people and giving them the opportunity to learn and grow. This is vital for organisations to remain competitive in the global market and to enable them to steer a smooth course through future challenges, from technological change to the rise of the four-generation workforce.

‘I congratulate all the successful organisations who presented examples of the innovative, inspiring and impactful training that’s taking place across the UK today. They are truly worthy recipients of this prestigious and rigorously assessed royal award and we are delighted to be able to honour their achievements through the Princess Royal Training Awards.’