Calling all trainers and stable staff to support evaluation of projects to improve recruitment, skills and retention

30 Oct 2018 BHA Features Grassroots
  • Survey will provide robust data against which to measure progress of initiatives
  • This follows the first survey conducted in 2016
  • The survey is being funded by the Racing Foundation and is part of its £1 million grant which is being invested in staff recruitment and retention
  • Trainers and stable staff will be contacted directly to be asked to participate

The Racing industry is appealing to trainers and stable staff to participate in a short survey focusing on recruitment, skills, career progression and retention of those working in racing. Their input will play a crucial part in helping shape and measure the progress of major initiatives to support the recruitment of staff into the industry, development of racing’s workforce and encouraging greater retention of staff.

The survey is being funded by the Racing Foundation and is being delivered in partnership with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), National Trainers Federation (NTF), National Association of Racing Staff (NARS) and racing charities.

The survey is part of a wider initiative funded by the Racing Foundation, which is providing a £1 million + investment over three years into staff recruitment, skills and retention since 2015. These include an industry-wide Careers Advice and Training Service, an occupational health service for racing’s staff, a Personal Development  Programme for Jockeys and a range of regional training activities for stud and stable staff. These activities are now being taken on by the wider industry under its Recruitment, Training and Retention programme, which is funded by the HBLB/Racing Authority, the Racing Foundation and other racing charities.

The survey was first conducted in 2016 to establish a baseline of facts about recruitment, skills and retention in racing. This new survey will help measure progress and inform future activity in this area.

To assist, the industry is appealing to trainers and stable staff to participate in a survey that started at the end of October and will run throughout November. The survey will take about 10-15 minutes and will be conducted over the phone and online with trainers, and by post and on-line with stable staff.

Trainers and stable staff will be contacted by Public Perspectives, an independent research organisation commissioned by the Racing Foundation, over the next few weeks. Last time we achieved a very high response and it is very much hoped there will be a good response rate to show how industry stakeholders are working together to pro-actively address recruitment, skills and retention issues.

Rob Hezel, CEO of the Racing Foundation, commented:

“At the Racing Foundation we are passionate about our ultimate goal: supporting ways to make horseracing better for all its participants. By responding to this survey trainers and staff can provide the basis for the sport to take informed decisions on improvement. The results will also inform the Foundation’s plans so we can continue to invest in those projects which make a positive impact and create a lasting legacy for people.”

Will Lambe, Executive Director of the BHA, commented:

“The recruitment, training and retention of Racing’s workforce is a key priority area for the BHA and the sport as a whole and we are working closely with partner organisations to create an attractive, safe and progressive environment for those who are employed in this sector. We are grateful for the continued support of the Racing Foundation who continue to invest in this very important area of activity. We would urge employers and staff to
respond to this survey to enable the sport to provide relevant and meaningful support to its participants.”

Rupert Arnold, Chief Executive of the NTF, commented:

“It is more important than ever that the racing industry works together on a sustainable strategy for developing a skilled workforce for trainers. The Racing Foundation has been a great supporter of NTF initiatives in this area such as The Lycetts Team Champion Award. We ask trainers to devote some time to the evaluation survey as their feedback is vital to shape the success of the strategy.”

George McGrath, Chief Executive of NARS, commented:

“The survey in 2016 has led to the BHA and trainers getting a better understanding of staffing needs and how to address them. This is a follow up survey to build on the information we gathered in 2016, which will give us an understanding as to what hasimproved and what needs to be worked on. The purpose of the survey is to make your working lives better so I do hope you will take the time to complete it”.
Notes to editors

1. The Racing Foundation was established in January 2012 to oversee the distribution of funds to charitable causes within racing following the sale of the Tote. The British Horseracing Authority, the Horsemen’s Group and Racecourse Association are the three joint Members of the charity, which is registered with the Charity Commission as a charity under the law of England and Wales (no. 1145297)

2. The Trustees of the Racing Foundation are: Ian Barlow (Chairman), Linda Bowles, Susannah Gill, Mark Johnston, Jane Keir and William Rucker. Since inception, the Racing Foundation has granted just over £10million to charities associated with the horseracing and Thoroughbred breeding industry in the UK, supporting work in social welfare, education, training and participation, horse welfare, equine science research, and heritage and culture.

3. As part of its 2015-2018 strategy, the Foundation is working with relevant authorities, stakeholders and racing charities to develop and fund three initiatives that aim to make significant progress in:
–  Creating personal development opportunities for racing’s people.
– Enhancing injury rehabilitation services for racing’s people.
–  Developing a co-ordinated approach towards equine welfare provision.

4. The Racing Foundation announced its £1million commitment to improving the professional and personal development of racing’s workforce and addressing recruitment/retention issues in August 2015. The initiative responded to issues raised in the 2014 Training Yard Workforce Analysis report, which was commissioned by the BHA and produced by Deloitte. The report identified that low retention rates within the racing industry, combined with stricter immigration policy and pressures on recruiting young people into the industry, could have serious implications for the supply of racing’s workforce.

The Racing Foundation has since been working with the BHA, NTF, NARS and racingcharities to investigate how supporting the personal development of racing’s workforce can help attract and retain staff within the industry. The resulting programme of activities aims to achieve the following key objectives:
– More members of the workforce undertaking continuous professional development.
– Higher incidence of career development among the workforce.
– Improved rates of workforce retention within the racing industry (especially among skilled and qualified staff).

The programme comprises four key activities:
– Enhanced Careers Marketing.
– Developing a Careers Advice and Training Service (CATS).
– Delivering a Personal Development Programme for Jockeys.
– Providing regional Accessible Learning and Training for stud and stable staff.

5. Public Perspectives Ltd is an independent research organisation that specialises in research, evaluation, consultation and strategy development for the public and charitable sectors. It also has substantial experience of conducting evaluations for charities, charitable trusts and working within the horseracing industry. The evaluation of the personal development programme is being overseen by Mark Yeadon, Director of Research and Engagement, who has nearly 20 years of research and evaluation experience. He is a member of the Market Research Society and a former Director of the Social Research Association. Mark has also worked for two Local Authorities, for the National Audit Office and
is a Director of the Cripplegate Foundation – a grant giving charity in Islington.

For more information please contact:
Tansy Challis
Grants Manager
The Racing Foundation
01763 852790
[email protected]