South Devon College employer partner Princess Yachts have been awarded a Princess Royal Training Award for their apprenticeship scheme.

The dedicated Princess Yachts Learning Academy workshop facility at South Devon College. Photo: Roy RileyThe dedicated Princess Yachts Learning Academy workshop facility at South Devon College. Photo: Roy Riley

The awards are selected by the Princess Royal and the president of City & Guilds Group to recognise organisations whose training has delivered measurable business impact.

The City & Guilds Group announced that 43 recipients from a wealth of sectors have been commended by the 2020 Princess Royal Training Awards.

The already award-winning Princess Yachts Apprenticeship scheme saw recruitment continue throughout the Covid-19 lockdown via Zoom interviews, and a record number of apprentices will be starting their programme at Princess Yachts in September, with apprentices placed across all areas of the business.

Now in its fifth year, the Princess Royal Training Awards recognises employers across the country with outstanding training and development programmes that have had a direct impact on business performance.

Princess Yachts have demonstrated ‘exceptional commitment to training, despite facing unprecedented challenges of Covid-19’ according to the judges.

Princess Yachts won the award for ‘positioning apprenticeships as a viable career choice’.

Princess was recognised for having invested in its apprenticeship programme to ensure it has a strong talent pipeline in place.

Apprenticeships at Princess are open to employees of any age, with apprentices progressing their career path within the business. Ten per cent of the current managers within the business are former apprentices.

South Devon College has helped to accommodate the growth of Princess Yacht’s apprenticeships since forming their partnership in October last year with a unique and innovative apprenticeship programme.

At the college’s Paignton campus is the dedicated Princess Yachts Learning Academy workshop facility.

Inside is one of the luxury yacht builder’s V40 hulls allowing apprentices to work with the same industry-standard products and equipment, whether at their workplace or studying at the college

“We are so pleased to be awarded a Princess Royal Training Award for our apprenticeship programme,” says Alison Thompson, head of learning and development at Princess Yachts, “the assessment process was rigorous and very different this year taking place remotely via MS Teams.

“However, the assessors took the time to speak to some of our apprentices and to gain a better understanding of our collaborative partnership with South Devon College who support us in the delivery of our programme. It is great to know we are setting the right standards, experience and support to our apprentices as they begin their career with us and ultimately the marine industry.”

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