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Friday, 18 January, 2019

New scheme for trainers designed to help foster better working practices

Team ethos in racing yards recognised through new award
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Nominations have opened for the new National Trainers Federation awards designed to help improve recruitment and recruitment rates within racing stables by recognising a strong team ethos.

It is hoped that showcasing best practices through the Lycetts Team Champion Award will encourage their wider adoption across the industry.

There are two categories within the award, one for trainers with 40 horses or more and one for trainers with fewer than 40 horses. The winning yard in each category will receive £4,000, to be spent in a way that enhances the team. 

Teams scoring above a set points thresholds will achieve recognition through a grading system and have the right to use a bespoke logo to promote their business. Nominations close on December 1, with winners announced at the NTF’s AGM on February 22 next year.

The award nomination process is guided by the criteria of the Winning Approach, a new industry standard which will highlight the best ways to engage and motivate staff.

Although many trainers are already operating to the Winning Approach standard, it has been developed to demonstrate how best to implement effective recruitment and induction systems, a safe and positive working environment, development and training of the team, and reward and recognise grooms and riders.

Free management training modules will be held in Newmarket, Lambourn and Middleham in the next two months for trainers wanting support for the award.

NTF chief executive Rupert Arnold said: "The workplace is our main focus and the Team Champion Award integrates with several projects we're working on relating to management practices and employee engagement for racing grooms and riders.

“We're looking for ways to recognise how trainers and their staff acting as a team develop the foundations for a successful racing stable. Team Champion aims to encourage wider adoption of those ways of working and celebrate the stables that do it well."

Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Award winner Laura Winstanley said: "I really like the concept of this award as I think it will encourage trainers to look into developing a human resources-type role in their yards.

"It's an important development looking to the future and will help to promote our working conditions, which are favourable to other equine industries, and help to further employment in our industry."

The Racing Foundation survey on recruitment, career progression and retention provided the basis for £1 million in funding and played a pivotal role in the development of the NTF initiatives.

Racing Foundation chief executive Rob Hezel said: "We fully support the initiatives being developed by the NTF, which will enable trainers to provide a proactive response to staffing issues, and hope that as many trainers as possible can attend one of the training sessions later in the year."

An explanation of the awards process and nomination form are available on the NTF website and forms will also be sent to trainers by post this week.

It is important for the NTF, as the body supporting employers, to take a lead role in initiatives to tackle staff shortages
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