March 29, 2010 - Anonymous

Effective staff training honoured by awards

Employers that can demonstrate how staff training has benefited their business have until 23 April to enter the National Training Awards and have their efforts recognised.

Open to businesses of all sizes, the awards aim to recognise firms whose training methods have contributed towards their success. The competition is organised by UK Skills, an independent organisation which promotes vocational skills and training for work, on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

The awards include two categories specifically for small and medium-sized enterprises. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees can enter the Small Employer award, while firms with between 50 and 249 employees can enter the Medium Employer award.

For the second year running, small firms can also enter the Now is the Time award, for those that have developed a training programme in direct response to the challenges posed by the economic downturn.

Winners can use the National Training Awards logo on their marketing and stationery, and will receive PR support from the awards organisers.

“From speaking with past winners of the National Training Awards we have established that more than half have enjoyed the increased awareness amongst their customer base, with a further third stating they have gained additional business following winning an award,” said UK Skills chief executive, Simon Bartley.

Firms can enter the awards online, and must show a clear link between the training they have provided and the resulting benefits.

“For the employer categories, we are looking for firms that can explain what their business need was, what they decided that they wanted people to be able to do differently to solve that issue, and how they used that to plan their training,” said UK Skills acting director of awards, Nicola Smith.

“The employer then needs to show what people can do differently having had the training and how it has helped the business,” she added. “Usually that can be proved by looking at the business’ turnover, sickness rates, production rate or another quantifiable factor.”

National winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London in December.