A successful business relies on a team of skilled, committed and loyal individuals working towards a common purpose. Ultimately, employees are your company’s most important assets.
There is a strong business case for getting it right when it comes to managing and developing your people, including lower staff turnover and increased productivity, both of which will positively impact your bottom line.
Developing the skillset of your staff will result in a more capable, skilled workforce which will ultimately make them better at their jobs. Coupled with this, the chances are that your employees will feel more valued, motivated and more likely to stay with you if you are proactive when it comes to training and development. As such, investing in the training and development of your team can have major benefits for your business.
A better trained workforce is likely to be more productive as they gain the necessary skills to be able to carry out various tasks independently. This saves time for your more experienced staff having to teach them, or do tasks themselves, allowing the workplace to run more smoothly. Also, people who feel valued and motivated through training are more likely work harder.
Staff who feel valued by employers who have invested in their career development are more likely to be more loyal to you as their employer. Not only are they more likely to stay with you but will also act as a great advocate for your business to the wider industry. This can obviously generate great PR for your operation and attract more clients.
An employer who has a good reputation for staff development is a real draw talented people who have the ambition and aptitude to succeed in their roles.
People who take part in training courses will usually be doing so with representatives from other businesses, therefore a lot can be learned about other organisations good – and bad – practice which can benefit your own business hugely. There can be a worry that developing your people may mean that they end up leaving you; however training and treating people well often leads to them coming back more experienced in a more senior role. Not only do they know your business well, but can bring with them positives learnings and information from your competitors.
Training your team can be daunting in financial terms, especially for small businesses. The good news is that there is lots of free or part-funded industry training available these days.
If you are an employer in the racing industry there are lots of opportunities to develop your staff. With the implementation of initiatives such as The Regional Staff Development Program, NAoRS led funded courses and TBA/National Stud regional training now has never been a better time to access training for your staff in your region.
The nationwide Regional Staff Development Programme (RSDP) offers free or subsidised training across a range of subject areas including improving riding and horsemanship skills through coaching activities with the use of mobile training vehicles. Equine first aid, horse management, fitness, nutrition, finance and lifestyle subjects will be offered with opportunities for staff to gain industry and national qualifications. Training comes in various forms, including demonstrations by world class coaches and practical skills development by vets and physiotherapists. Staff may wish to improve their horse care skills, undertake basic numeracy and literacy skills development or learn more about the industry they work in. Training takes place in the main training centres of Malton, Middleham, Lambourn and Newmarket as well as outlying yards. Building on the success of the Jockey Coaching Programme, senior staff may also apply to train as Rider Coaches, giving them the coaching skills to support younger and inexperienced colleagues in their yards.
You can find out more about the RSDP on the Racing2Learn website.
Run in the main training centres around the country, subject to demand NAoRS led courses provide invaluable training in important skills such as Maths, English, ITC and English Speaking for Other Languages. Each course is run by a local college or provider who work together with NAoRS to ensure the content is relevant and these courses are fully funded for racing staff. NAORS are also running a Mentoring and Leadership Course, more information here.
The TBA and National Stud, with funding from The Racing Foundation, offer regional training on all aspects of stud management.
More information on National Stud Courses can be found here.
Racing Welfare provides a series of Mental Health England accredited courses around the country which allow participants to gain a much better awareness and knowledge of Mental Health issues which they may have to deal with in the workplace. Find upcoming Mental Health Courses here.
The Scottish Racing Academy was launched in 2020 and provides a wide range of training opportunity for racing staff in Scotland. For more information visit their website.
Looking to progress in your career but struggling to afford the cost of training courses? Providing you meet the relevant criteria, there are funding opportunities available for most industry courses and training.
The NTFCT (National Trainers Federation Charitable Trust) awards grants for training which helps applicants to develop their skills and enhance their employability within the industry. Examples include LGV driver training, equine osteopathy, dentistry, and racing secretary courses. To receive funding you must meet a set of requirements which can be found here.
If you live in Scotland you can access funding towards some training courses from the ITA (Individual Training Accounts). A set of criteria is in place for the allocation of grants; more information can be found here.
Alex Scott Future Trainers Scholarship is a well-known award in the industry for aspiring trainers to further their careers in Alex’s memory. The scholarship continues to play a role in supporting those who are committed to a career training racehorses and promoting their education and improvement of their skills outside Great Britain. Applications are invited in the autumn of each year, advertised on the BHA website and in the NTF newsletter. The NTF Chief Executive and two members of the NTF Council representing Flat and Jump codes will reduce the initial applications to a short list of four. From the short list, a panel appointed by the NTF and the TDMS trustees will choose the winner through a single round of interviews.
After the Scholarship winner is chosen, they will arrange the trip abroad with guidance and assistance from the NTF. The winner will then go abroad in the month of their choice, depending on whether they are attached to a Flat or National Hunt yard. Each winner is required to write a report of their experience on their return. More information and details on how to apply can be found here.
The Toby Balding Award for Development and Training is an annual £3,000 bursary which is awarded to a member of racing staff who demonstrates a desire to further their career and to achieve a higher-level qualification or undertake personal development training. To be eligible for the scheme, you must have worked in a racing yard for at least five years and be willing to study for and pass qualifications to prepare for senior roles – for example, studying for the Level Three Diploma in Work Based Racehorse Care and Management plus attending relevant leadership courses.
More information and details on how to apply can be found here.
Our Management Support Service is here to help you help your people.
Our Management Support Service is open to anyone who manages or mentors other members of staff no matter where you work. From Barn Leaders or Rider Coaches to CEO’s or Head Groundsmen, there is a wealth of knowledge available to you through the Management Support Service.
The Management Support Service is here to help you help your people. This includes support and advice on building resilience, reducing stress and tackling difficult issues. You can get advice on managing a big team or an individual, and there is support available on everything from dealing with conflict to time management.
Racing Welfare’s 24 hour support line enables people to access support and
guidance through digital and telephone options.