Saturday 11 December 2004

Recognising Excellence: The Investors In People Awards Event

Recognising Excellence Presentation Evening

The inaugural Recognising Excellence Awards event celebrating the Investors in People achievements of twenty-one local organisations took place last night before a packed audience at Newcastle's Centre for Life. With a brand unique to Tyne and Wear, the new 'Recognising Excellence' format is designed to celebrate the organisations' commitment to improving their performance through the development of their staff. Local organisations - from councils through to schools through to private sector companies - all gathered for the glittering awards ceremony presided over by event host Roger Tames, Head of Sport at Tyne Television.

The launch of this new event format coincides with last week's unveiling of a new version of the Investors in People Standard - revealed by the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, Charles Clarke during Investors in People Week (14th-20th November).

Recognising Excellence Presentation Evening

In line with the emphasis that the Standard places on employee involvement, last night's proceedings featured a series of mini-films including interviews with key personnel, and fly-on-the-wall style footage realised in the workplace, allowing the recognised organisations to be showcased in a unique way.

As a nationally recognised mark of good practice, Investors in People is aimed at helping organisations improve their performance and competitiveness through careful planning of the skills required to succeed in their sector. The organisations that last night demonstrated this commitment to workforce development in achieving the Standard were 1A The Dental Practice, Alldec Northern, Benstone Ltd, The Bridge Project, Executel, Fawthrop McLanders, Fusebox Design, Gateshead MBC Planning Performance and Support, Hall and Partners, Holley Park Primary School, Key Enterprises (1983) Ltd, MB & G 24 Hour Call Centre, Newcastle Council Organisational Development Division, Probe Industries Ltd, Sea Haven Rest Home, Traidcraft, Trends Business Research, Tripleshield Property Maintenance, UK Industrial Tapes, Waring and Netts and Whickham School.

Joining the organisations in the celebration were representatives of the two organisations responsible for the delivery of the programme in Tyne and Wear: Business Link and the Learning and Skills Council. Business Link Tyne and Wear board member Alex Scullion, who opened the Awards ceremony and presented the individual plaques, said: "The benefits that the Investors in People programme can bring in terms of increased employees' skills, management training and improved communication throughout an organisation are very real benefits which remain an integral part of business success year on year. Such individual success will ultimately lead to the creation of a stronger workforce overall in the North East."

Graham Randell, council member of the Learning and Skills Council Tyne and Wear, as well as Regional Managing Director of Greggs plc, added his congratulations to last night's recognised organisations. Delivering the closing speech of the evening, Mr Randell said: "Investors in People Standard provides a proven framework for workforce development and training. The revised Standard is so successful because it meets the needs of employers of all sectors and sizes, which is demonstrated by the range of Tyne and Wear organisations currently enjoying Investors in People success."

Recognising Excellence Presentation Evening

Last night's event seized on the opportunity to give non-recognised organisations an insight into the benefits the Standard can offer - by encouraging all participating organisations to invite colleagues from associated companies. This led to an overall turnout of more than 150 people.

On hand to offer last night's attendees advice on the reality of moving forward as an Investor in People was celebrity guest speaker Sheila Woodall, Managing Director of Thorncroft Drinks Ltd. A soft drinks company based in Stockton, which now brings in a joint turnover of over 5million, Thorncroft achieved the Investors in People just one year ago. Sheila spoke about the benefits that adhering to the principles taught through the Standard can bring to a growing business. Using her experience at the helm of a workforce of 65 people, Sheila reinforced the positive effect that developing your team's potential can have on an organisation's overall success.

Angela Dingle of Whickham School - one of the organisations in attendance last night - said: "As a school we've been used to development planning for a long time - setting aims and objectives and how we evaluate them. Investors in People has sharpened this process and I think it's made people realise that their contribution is valued. I would recommend Investors in People because I think the staff value the fact that they've got recognition for the processes they're doing on a day-to-day basis."

Lisa Rippingale of Newcastle City Council Organisational Development Team said: "For us Investors in People was a way of seeing what we are doing now; and what we should be doing to really try and bring some improvement - it was a way to guide us to that."

Catherine McLanders of Fawthrop McLanders Advertising said: "Once we committed ourselves to Investors in People we put deadlines in place so that we achieved what we set out to achieve. I would recommend it to other companies because I think it focuses you on training and it makes you commit to things and do things to a timescale. Investors in People has helped us to achieve those goals."

Recognising Excellence Presentation Evening

How To Find Out More

Everything your company needs to know about Investors in People can be found at www.iipuk.co.uk, the home of Investors in People UK, the public body that promotes the Standard. Investors in People is delivered by Business Link and the Learning and Skills Council at local level.

Business Link can support organisations of any size or sector to achieve the Investors in People Standard. Its business advisors work closely with the organisations to help identify the most appropriate route to help achieve the Standard. More information can be found at www.businesslinktw.co.uk

The LSC is responsible for planning and funding high quality education and training for everyone. The organisation funds Investors in People and supports organisations to achieve the Standard. More information about the organisation can be found at www.lsc.gov.uk


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