Go North East, the region’s largest bus operator, and Gateshead College, the best performing college in England for post 16 education and training, have been commended with a Princess Royal Training Award for their workplace learning at a ceremony that was held at St James’s Palace in London.
The awards, now in their fourth year, honour employers in the UK who have created outstanding training and skills development programmes which have resulted in exceptional commercial benefits. The Princess Royal Training Awards recognise the achievement of a standard of excellence rather than selecting overall winners.
Presented by HRH Princess Anne and delivered by the City and Guilds Group, the awards recognised Go North East alongside Gateshead College for their unique Bus Driver Routeway training programme.
The revolutionary programme was created by the organisations, in partnership with the Jobcentre, as a way of improving the recruitment process for the unemployed. Of the 250 learners who have undertaken the programme, success at interview has risen from 27% to 76% and learners gaining employment has increased from 9% to 44%.
Commenting on this year’s recipients and ceremony Chris Jones, Chief Executive of the City and Guilds Group, said: “The Princess Royal Training Awards are a highlight of the year, as we come together to celebrate the outstanding work of businesses around the country who put learning and development firmly at the top of their agenda. The remarkable employers we recognised demonstrate the power that comes from investing in people and training as a vehicle to strengthen organisations and open up opportunities for people.
“We hope that business leaders everywhere will be inspired by the efforts of this year’s PRTA recipients and go the extra mile to ensure their workforce is fit for the future.”
Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director at Go North East, added: “It’s an honour for our unique Bus Driver Routeway training programme to be commended with a Princess Royal Training Award.
“As a major employer in the region, having the right recruitment and talent development pipelines is essential to the success of our company and helps us ensure we’re recruiting, training and supporting local people, in turn supporting the local economy.
“Being recognised alongside big hitters such as IBM, The Co-op and Lloyds Banking Group shows the amount of hard work that our recruitment and training team have carried out to deliver this programme with Gateshead College and the Jobcentre.”