Royal recognition for UK retailers upskilling their employees


City & Guilds Group has today released the names of seven UK retail businesses commended by the 2018 Princess Royal Training Awards. The prestigious Awards honour UK companies including River Island, John Lewis, Halford’s, Specsavers and Pets at Home for their outstanding training and development programmes, which have directly resulted in commercial success.

From apprenticeship schemes to sales boot camps to health and wellbeing programmes, each of the recipients has displayed a unique dedication to developing their workforce. For River Island, their training programme for 1,000 managers has transformed the company’s people strategy, while Pets at Home has trained employees to be able to give an animal medicine qualification in-house. Halford’s Group Plc has been awarded for launching a gamified e-learning platform to train employees on real-life customer service situations, and retail giant John Lewis created a ‘human plus digital’ experience, introducing digital product and sales information devices to all staff, effectively blending man and machine.

The full list of recipients includes public and private sector businesses of all sizes, from areas including retail, hospitality, banking and financial services, education, manufacturing, not for profit, and healthcare. The Award recipients, who were all subject to a rigorous assessment process, will receive their Awards from HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony in October.

Commenting on this year’s recipients, Chris Jones, chief executive of the City & Guilds Group said: “Congratulations to all seven retailers who have achieved the Princess Royal Training Awards standard of excellence this year. Once again, it’s evidence of the very real benefits that investing in staff development can bring to employers. At a time of increasing economic uncertainty and reduced investment into workforce development it is great to see critical business issues being addressed through impactful L&D. Through the Awards we highlight excellent examples of training that have already proved to be effective and we encourage others to build on their success.”

The Princess Royal Training Awards, delivered by the City & Guilds Group, are now in their third year. Each of the 90 applications were assessed against three Hallmarks of Excellence by the Princess Royal Training Awards Commission, which comprised of HRH The Princess Royal and seven leading figures in the business and training community.