Gateshead College receives double Royal seal of approval

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Gateshead College is celebrating after receiving double royal recognition at this year’s Princess Royal Training Awards.

The college scooped two accolades in the prestigious national awards, one for its commitment to tackling and developing awareness of mental health, and another for its coaching and people development programme.

Principal and CEO Judith Doyle CBE received the awards on behalf of the college from HRH Princess Anne at a ceremony at St James Palace. Guests at the event also included some of the college’s mental health champions, coaches and HR team.

The college was recognised for investing in a coaching methodology to develop its staff across the business and develop further their culture of continuous improvement and excellence – with the end goal of improving learning outcomes for students. As part of this initiative, specialised training was given to 35 members of staff to develop them as coaches who then worked with other staff members to support their development; encouraging them to acquire new skills and challenge them to find new ways of working.

The college’s mental health programme was formed to proactively encourage employees to manage their own mental health and help them support other staff and students. The college recognised a number of years ago this was an issue affecting staff and students and one which should be a priority. All staff have undertaken mental health awareness training supported by qualified practitioners, and have benefited from activities introduced via the college’s Fit for Life scheme, including counselling services and mindfulness and resilience training. The college was also the first FE provider in the region to back the national Time to Change campaign, which encourages people to speak out about mental health issues.

Judith Doyle CBE, principal and CEO of Gateshead College, said: “I was honoured to receive these two awards on behalf of the college. They perfectly highlight the importance we place as an organisation that we place on developing the skills and wellbeing of our people. Looking after the health and wellbeing of our valued employees sits at the heart of everything we do and the results and rewards speak for themselves. We are the top-performing college in the country; a clear demonstration that our staff and our learners have benefited from the culture of continuous improvement we have put in place here.”

Two of the college’s clients, manufacturing firm Essity and transport operator Go North East were also among the 48 organisations to be recognised as a result of programmes which are run in partnership with the college. Essity received an award for its apprenticeship programme, which has helped the business successfully tackle a long-term skills shortage and Go North East for its ground-breaking Bus Driver Routeway employment programme, which equips unemployed people with the skills and confidence to get back into work.

Judith Doyle said: “It is fantastic that the Princess Royal Training Awards are recognising the exceptional North East employers who are realising the potential of investing in their people and showcasing our businesses on the national stage. I would like to offer my congratulations to two of our valued clients, Go North East and Essity, for their awards.”

Mon Dec 09 2019