In August of this year, the recipients of the prestigious Princess Royal Training Awards 2023 were announced. In a remarkable year for both applications and Award recipients, 145 applications were received and 53 organisations successfully achieved the Award. These inspiring figures – the highest since the Awards were established in 2016 – indicate both an increasing dedication to learning and development (L&D) and a growing awareness of the gold stamp of approval that these Awards provide.
Honouring talent in training
The Princess Royal Training Awards are the pinnacle of L&D achievement and royally recognise employers committed to training who can demonstrate exceptional impact on their organisation. Open to all private, public or not-for-profit organisations operating in the UK and Ireland regardless of size or sector, the Awards are free from start to finish. Distinctively, organisations do not compete with one another. As a standard of excellence, organisations simply need to show they are meeting the Awards’ criteria through their training programmes.
Applicants receive unrivalled support through one-to-one calls, workshops and ‘tea and chat’ sessions and there is even an opportunity to submit a draft application to get feedback from Assessors. Previous applicants have found this invaluable:
“The feedback was so helpful and so constructive, and you get a real sense that the Assessors are really trying to help you towards achieving the Award.” – 2022 recipient.
Unsuccessful applicants also receive detailed feedback and optional contact with an Assessor to help with programme development or applying again in a future year.
This year’s 53 Award-winning recipients will be celebrated in November at a high-profile ceremony where they will be presented with their Awards by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the City and Guilds of London Institute. What’s more, they will be invited to join an active Alumni network of 600+ members who all believe in the power of investing in L&D.
Previous recipients have praised the many benefits of achieving an Award for their organisation, including improved recruitment and retention, increased investment in training, incorporation of HR and L&D into organisational strategy, and learning best practice from other organisations. Recipients also gain from the ongoing recognition and symbol of distinction that the Award provides. As one Award recipient explained:
“It immediately attracted interest from overseas. We work with a lot of American clients and we export a lot of what we do around the world and people noticed it. It is a mark of excellence and I think people recognise that both in the UK and internationally”.
Excellence in engineering
Over the years, organisations large and small from the engineering sector have applied for and achieved the Award and this year was no exception. 2023 saw an increase in applications from the engineering sector, with several successful organisations receiving the Award for their innovative and inspiring training programmes.
Leading infrastructure services and engineering company, Amey Plc, achieved an Award for the establishment of their Women@Amey network, designed to attract and retain women in a male-dominated industry. Through the development of a leadership programme aimed at women with the potential to become leaders, 58 women have engaged in the programme, and 77% have been promoted. The number of women in the business has increased from 25% to 30% post programme and the number of women in senior leadership positions has increased from 14% to 18%.
SME engineering business Stainless Metalcraft received a revalidation for its continuous investment in pathways to engineering careers for local young people following an Award in 2020. Through the development of their apprenticeship programme and the launch of the North Cambridgeshire Training Centre, there has been a reduction in the age profile of the workforce from 54 to 40 and retention beyond year 2 of the programme has increased from 50% to 78%. Commendably, 42% of the current workforce started as apprentices.
Also recognised was MKC Training Services Ltd, established to provide core engineering skills to the Army’s Royal Engineers. Training at Level 2 through to Master’s degree level is provided to officers and soldiers of Military Engineering. By accessing Kickstart funding and with the aim of diversifying recruits to address an ageing workforce issue, MKC Training has successfully provided fourteen young people with training, resulting in 57% gaining full or fixed-term contracts.
Register for the 2024 Awards
There has been an impressive dedication to training in the engineering sector, with many inspiring and innovative programmes. If your organisation is dedicated to L&D and is looking to be recognised for a training programme which has positively impacted your organisation, why not register your interest now?
With its celebration of excellence, dedication to best practice and devotion to supporting applicants, this really is an Award worth applying for. Applications open on 4 December 2023.
You can contact the Princess Royal Training Awards team at: [email protected].