SBC News Fourth trainer and stable staff survey to highlight success of major initiatives

Fourth trainer and stable staff survey to highlight success of major initiatives

The Industry People Board’s new report is set to demonstrate views on improving recruitment, skills and retention of staff in the British racing industry.

Surveying trainers and stable staff, the report is delivered in partnership with the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the National Trainers Federation (NTF) and the National Association of Racing Staff (NARS), with funding from the Racing Foundation.

Trainers and stable staff are soon to be contacted by independent research organisation Public Perspectives in the coming days to complete the survey.

Neil Hayward, Chair of the Industry People Board, commented: “The newly-formed Industry People Board has set itself and the industry ambitious aims in securing a workforce and working environment we can be proud of, and which sets an example to other sports.

“We have much work to do and fundamental to that will be accurate and up-to-date data.

“This data will enable us to make informed decisions and evaluate the impact of both current and future initiatives. We appreciate the time and effort taken by those who respond to the survey.

“The better the response rate the more detailed a picture we have about what is happening to, and what matters to, the industry’s workforce.”

Meanwhile, the results will also serve to measure the progress of major initiatives funded by the Racing Foundation which have aimed to support the recruitment of stable staff into the racing industry (such as the Scottish Racing Academy, HEROS Racing Academy and the Riding a Dream Academy).

It will also look at those initiatives that developed the skills of its workforce (including the Racing Staff Development Programme; Rider Coaching Programme; NARS Education Programme; and an enhanced Jockey Coaching Programme).

Finally, it will examine the activations which encouraged greater retention of staff (such as the Careers Advice and Training Service; Personal Development Programme for Jockeys; Racing Welfare’s Occupational Health Service and mental health support services).

“The Racing Foundation is once again happy to support the delivery of the racing yard surveys,” added Tansy Challis, Chief Executive of the Racing Foundation. 

“By using data in 2016 to set a baseline from which to measure progress and identify issues, we have been able to invest a significant level of targeted grant funding over the last six years and to monitor its impact.”

Running from November and continuing until early January, the survey is part of the Racing Foundation’s ongoing investment in activities and initiatives to improve staff recruitment, training and retention. 

Since the 2016 baseline survey, the Racing Foundation has invested over £12m to address the issues highlighted in the surveys.

Challis continued: “The 2021 surveys highlighted that recruitment, skills and retention issues continue to negatively impact the racing industry and we felt the best way to deal with the challenges is to ensure a strategic approach is taken – one that considers the whole people journey and prioritises interventions that will have the greatest impact.

“We are, therefore, encouraged by the formation of the Industry People Board and its aim to develop a People Strategy. The data gathered by the 2023 surveys will play a crucial part in informing this strategy and we hope all trainers and stable staff will participate.”

The survey is the fourth in a series that provides robust data to measure progress of initiatives and identify new issues for employees and employers working on training yards. Previous surveys have been carried out in 2016, 2018 and 2021.

In September this year, the BHA also launched a survey to gather views from the betting public on affordability checks proposed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). 

Initiating a combined survey, racing stakeholders shedded light on the diverse views of betting audiences on proposed affordability checks to form part of the Gambling Commission’s consultation.

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