Oakman Inns secures Princess Royal Training Award for second time

Oakman Inns – chef putting final touches to dish in open kitchen[1]

Oakman Inns, owner of three family-friendly pubs in Oxfordshire – The Crown & Thistle in Abingdon, Old Post Office in Wallingford and The Blue Boar in Witney, The Globe at Warwick and The Royal Foresters at Ascot will be one of just 43 recipients from 39 organisations which will be presented with the annual Princess Royal Training Award in November.

This is the second time that the Hertfordshire-based independent pub group, which employs more than 1,000 people to run its 28 pubs across Southern England and the West Midlands, has been recognised for their training programme in the Award’s five-year history.

The Princess Royal Training Awards recognise those UK companies that have created outstanding training and development programmes which have made a direct and provable impact on their employer’s business performance. The 2020 winners demonstrated exceptional commitment to training, despite facing unprecedented challenges of Covid-19.

Oakman Inn’s CEO, Dermot King said: “Our 28 town centre and country pubs rely on our teams to be enthusiastic in their work and enthused by the standards of service we are consistently striving to achieve. Since receiving the Award in 2017 for our pioneering online learning and career development platform, the growth of our business has resulted in our employee numbers doubling. This required us to scale up our programme to meet the changing needs of our business objectives and those of our team members. As a result, employee turnover has fallen 16 per cent while internally promoted chef numbers have increased by 34 per cent.”

He added: “In the current pandemic crisis, our online programme has been critical to supporting our team members who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the additional challenges of Covid-19 training.”

The other recipients come from a wide variety of other public and private sector organisations such as healthcare, finance and manufacturing including HMRC, The Co-Op and Royal Mail Group.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, Chief Executive of the City & Guilds Group which organises the awards, said: “Congratulations to all of the organisations who have achieved the Princess Royal Training Awards standard of excellence this year. We know that having a highly skilled workforce will be essential as we start to rebuild our economy post Covid-19, and, in increasingly uncertain times, making sure we invest in people has never been more important, nor has continuing to showcase the impact it has on organisational success.”