The annual National Training Awards have produced 207 reasons for taking training seriously, according to organisers UK Skills.
That’s the number of finalists in the awards which are celebrating their 20th anniversary this year.
UK Skills chief executive, Jacqui Henderson, said while the awards’ 207 finalists clearly understand the link between training and improved business performance, more organisations still need to make training a priority if they and the UK are to remain competitive.
“More than ever UK organisations need to get ahead of the rapid global and technological changes we’re seeing in international markets,” she said.
“How can we do this if our people do not have the knowledge and skills to make it happen? Put simply, effective training does help create a more effective, productive and flexible workforce.”
The awards’ finalists include well-known organisations such as BBC, Deloitte, B&Q, Ramada Jarvis Hotels, P&O Ferries, First Choice Holidays, Mothercare, Welsh Assembly Government, DEFRA, Transport for London, AXA Life, Housing Rights Service and many leading regional organisations. More than 30 individuals are also amongst the finalists.
Ms Henderson said the finalists’ investment in training was a positive example to the rest of the country: “The UK needs people who are committed to training as much now as it did when the National Training Awards began twenty years ago. Training methods may have changed in that time but the need for training has not.
“It’s tempting for businesses to cut training budgets when times are hard but training is one tool that can bring tangible benefits. Many finalists have seen business productivity boosted, market share increased and staff turnover reduced. Others have discovered that training increases personal satisfaction and commitment.”
The National Training Awards were introduced in 1986 to celebrate individuals, businesses and organisations that have achieved outstanding success through training and development. They are run by UK Skills on behalf of the Department for Education and Skills.
This year’s finalists achieved their success through a diverse range of training which has enabled them, among other things, to improve customer service, diversify their business, help young people find employment, increase the skills of managers and supervisors, introduce new products and progress in their careers or become self-employed.
Regional winners will be announced at a series of regional awards ceremonies held throughout the UK in October and November. National Training Award winners will be celebrated at a gala ceremony in London in December.