33 UK businesses have achieved the Princess Royal Training Awards standard in 2016.

The announcement followed the adjudication of the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission, who awarded a wide range of organisations from all sizes and sectors in August 2016. The successful organisations demonstrated that training and skills development can make a significant impact on business success.

Chris Jones, City & Guilds Group Chief Executive and a member of the Commission, commented: ‘Excellence doesn’t happen by chance. In today’s uncertain economy, more than ever, employers must align investment in training to the objectives of their business. Whether they’ve addressed a skills gap, improved productivity or developed new leaders to grow their businesses, the awarded organisations deserve recognition.’

The awards recipients are listed below, click for a snapshot of their story.

A&G Precision & Sons Ltd - Solves skills shortages

Aerospace engineering – 61 employees – Lancashire

An example of how a small company addressed the UK-wide engineering skills shortage through Apprenticeships. Recruited locally, the young people now represent A&G’s specialist skills pipeline - the organisation’s biggest asset for expansion.

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Asda Stores Ltd - Refocusing company culture

Retail - 1000+ employees – West Yorkshire

This leading British retailer successfully refocused its company’s culture in order to meet changing market requirements and customer needs. By establishing retail academies and targeting training to individuals, Asda has embedded training and development across the organisation.

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Babcock International Group - Creating apprentice ambassadors

Marine and Technology – 1000+ employees – Argyll and Bute

An example of how a company has tailored a traditional Apprenticeship programme to create a culture change catalyst for the business. Alongside technically qualified employees, the programme has created apprentices to act as change agents and ambassadors.

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BAE Systems plc - Trailblazers for Apprenticeships

Technology and Manufacturing – 1000+ employees – Hampshire

This global manufacturer is a trailblazer for Apprenticeships - it offers over 20 routes into gaining a qualification. Unemployed young people and school children are just two of the groups with which BAE works, enthusing and educating them about employment opportunities.

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Bentley Motors Ltd - Addressing the skills gap

Automotive – 1000+ employees – Cheshire

This luxury car company worked in partnership with a local college and training provider to overhaul its Apprenticeship programme in order to meet a future skills shortage. The programme, which includes an advanced Apprenticeship, ensures that talent is embedded within the company.

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Bernicia Group - Utilising training to shape business

Property management – 380 employees – Northumberland

This property management company developed a successful training programme to address the challenges of identified skills gaps and an aging workforce. Their flexible and inclusive approach has made them a respected and recognised employer of choice in the area.

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Caring Homes Group- Equipping staff to work with dementia patients

Care provider – 1000+ employees – Essex

An example of how a care home group has trained staff to understand and deal with dementia with dignity. This has resulted in reduced levels of aggression in patients, better relationships with patients’ families and approaches from other agencies and GPs to undertake the training.

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Dale Power Solutions Ltd - Putting succession planning into action

Power solution provider - 270 employees – North Yorkshire

An example of how a company undertook succession planning to address the challenges of a remote location and an aging workforce. The resulting Apprenticeship programme is flexible, inclusive and has 100% retention rate - even the CEO is a former apprentice.

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East of England Co-operative - Trailblazer in dementia training

Retail – 4700 employees – Suffolk

This organisation successfully positioned itself as a dementia-friendly retailer in the region after undertaking community research. Two-thirds of the staff have completed the training which is interactive, activity-based and raises awareness of dementia. The organisation is now seen as a trailblazer advising on national standards for dementia training.

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EE - New stores project - Integrating new employees in 8-day takeover

Telecommunications – 1000+ employees – Hertfordshire

An example of how a telecommunications company trained 358 staff over 8 days following the takeover of 58 stores. This ambitious project, which used creative techniques such as mentoring and buddy systems, led to the new stores outperforming existing stores in their first year of trading.

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EE - Priority Launch Programme - Improving employee performance

Telecommunications – 1000+ employees – Hertfordshire

This telecommunications company developed an organisation-wide initiative to improve employee performance when launching new products. The learner-focused training programme has resulted in more confident staff and has exceeded sales targets around product launches.

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Fujitsu - Recognising technical talent

Information Technology – 14000 employees – Cheshire

As a way to recognise, retain and reward its best technical talent, Fujitsu established a Distinguished Engineer Scheme. Creating powerful cross-disciplinary networks, the scheme has led to long-term economic and reputational benefits such as enhanced performance and reduced attrition rates.

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Ginsters Van Sales Company - Creating can-do workforce

Distribution – 50-249 employees – Cornwall

An example of how a company changed its culture and created a sustainable business through an organisation-wide initiative. The training which built the right knowledge, skills and behaviours also created a can-do employee approach and has led to reduced staff turnover and increased career progression opportunities.

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Green Lighting Ltd - Showcasing employee engagement

Manufacturing – 0-49 employees – Worcestershire

An example of how a small company invested in all staff offering systematic training and learning to deliver business growth. Through training, this company is leading the curve with technological advances and simultaneously encouraging positive organisational culture and high employee engagement.

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Hilti GB Limited - Delivering a new training centre

Construction – 250-999 employees – Greater Manchester

This global company invested in training in order to meet its business growth targets. In 2015 Hilti developed a purpose built training facility and its training programme has yielded impressive results including increased sales effectiveness and reduced ‘time to performance’ timescales.

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Home Instead Senior Care - Training over 20,000 in dementia care

Care provider – 7000 employees – Cheshire

An example of how a care provider has addressed a significant current need through training. As well as providing dementia training to staff, the organisation began to offer shorter courses to clients’ families and community groups with outcomes including business growth and increased client satisfaction.

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IBM  UK Ltd - Investing in young professionals

Technology – 1000+ employees – Greater London

An example of how a global technology company has established a UK Foundation programme to train new hires across student, apprentice and graduate schemes. Trainees are seen as invaluable to the business offering solutions to help IBM stay ahead of its competitors.

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J Murphy & Sons Limited - Developing an umbrella academy

Engineering and Construction – 1000+ employees – Greater London

This company overhauled its training provision following a strategic review resulting in the creation of the Murphy Academy. The academy has full centre status with City & Guilds and ILM meaning that the workforce can be upskilled and certified internally whilst aligning core skills and competencies directly to the business.

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Kainos - Developing 'project readiness' skills

Information Technology – 850 staff  – County Antrim

This high-growth IT company has used its dedicated training academy to develop key ‘project readiness’ skills and integrate new employees into the company culture. The training delivered is creative and people-centric and has yielded significant business benefits.

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Mercedes-Benz UK - Recruiting females to fill skills gap

Retail – 1600 employees – Buckinghamshire

This automotive retailer recruited a new sales force to address a skills gap due to the current age of the existing truck sales network. It delivers a 26-week training programme, which includes trainees learning to drive a truck, has doubled its number of female trainees and has had a 78% retention rate since 2011.

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National Grid - Bridging the skills gap

Energy – 1000+ employees – Nottinghamshire

National Grid has invested heavily in its three-year Apprenticeship and technician programmes in order to bridge the skills gap due to an aging workforce. In order to build a talent pipeline the company is an active promoter of careers in STEM subjects - trainees visit schools and pupils are regularly offered work placements.

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National Museums Northern Ireland - Improving visitor satisfaction

Culture, Arts and Leisure – 415 employees – County Down

An example of a visitor attraction which used training as a catalyst for personal and organisational change. NMNI brought training in-house and built the programme around the needs of the employee resulting in increased visitor and employee satisfaction statistics.

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National Star College - Finding solutions quickly

Education – 804 employees – Gloucestershire

This college has embedded training deeply into the organisation and undertakes staff development reviews on a 6-week basis. These light-touch adjustments means that issues can be managed quickly, are less disruptive and allow employees to directly focus on their main priority – the students.

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Queensmill School - Putting learning at its centre

Education – 50-259 employees – Greater London

An example of how a school has placed great importance on training with all staff being trained in how to deal with autism. Progression is encouraged with many teaching assistants training to become teachers. The development of a Research Board which employees can feed into also shows how staff can continually input and learn.

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Ricoh UK - Transforming leadership programme

Technology – 1000+ employees – Northamptonshire

This global technology company needed to refocus employees on a strategic approach to business. They used staff to develop elements of the new leadership programme and encouraged self-discovery and ownership of learning. Outcomes include winning a new £5 million contract and a reduction of staff attrition by 10%.

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ISS UK Ltd - Rolling out programme globally

Facilities management – 42000 employees – Surrey

This global facilities management organisation developed a programme to meet the training needs at Derby Hospital. The i-Suite programme, which includes experiential learning and a ‘buddies’ system, has led to a 10-year contract extension and the system being adopted across the world.

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Starbucks Coffee Company UK- Creating careers for young workforce

Catering – 7000+ employees – Greater London

This global catering company has created alternative career pathways for young people, offering Apprenticeships from level 2 to level 6 (degree level) and delivering a future workforce pipeline. Innovative training is delivered predominantly via technology-based methods to best meet the needs of the young workforce.

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The Donkey Sanctuary - Diversifying to meet ambitious targets

Animal Charity – 500 employees – Devon

This organically-grown charity has focused on training as a way to meet its ambitious growth targets. An organisation-wide leadership programme offering tailored diplomas and a staff handbook which doubles as a development review tool are two of the creative ways that the charity is embedding training into its culture.

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Thomas Cook UK - Offering apprentices the chance to fly

Travel – 9000 employees – Cambridgeshire

An example of a travel organisation which blends on- and off-the job learning to maximise its Apprenticeship training. Apprentices are given the chance to go on a cruise or on a flight so that they can better sell services to their customers. Results have included apprentices performing at 162% productivity compared to non-apprentice sales consultants.

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Transport for London - Delivering 'Olympic moment'

Transport – 1000+ employees – Greater London

An example of an organisation which initiated large-scale changes to training delivery following the success of their services during the 2012 Olympic Games. TfL used innovative technology and practical role-plays to gain staff buy in, transform attitudes to learning and roll out a service fit for the future.

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TUI Group - Promoting home-grown talent

Tourism –76000 employees – Bedfordshire

An example of how a global tourism organisation has embedded its Apprenticeship programme to provide the talent pipeline for the business. Results include apprentices outperforming non-apprentices and a 95% apprentice retention rate after four years of completing the training.

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Unipart Group - Using technology effectively

Logistics and Manufacturing – 1000+ employees – Oxfordshire

This logistics and manufacturing organisation has made best use of online technologies to train and accredit team leaders. By establishing an online e-coaching system Unipart can train across many sites and has made huge savings. Trained employees are then encouraged to cascade what they have learnt to their wider teams.

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University of York - Growing leadership from within

Education – 3900 employees – North Yorkshire

An example of how a university is using leadership training to bring together academics and support staff to address real challenges in the organisation. As well as developing cross-institution working and coaching support, the programme has broken down silo-working, enhancing existing practices in the university.

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Wakefield Council - Developing coaching culture

Support Services – 1000+ employees – West Yorkshire

This council has developed a training programme to equip managers with a set of behaviours and attitudes to deliver services against a backdrop of cuts. There is a real focus on coaching and SMART targets and this has led to time-saving and a positive shift in wider employees’ values and behaviours.

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