Newcastle-based national qualification provider NCFE has been voted by staff as one of the best employers in the UK for the third time.
The company ranked 60th in The Sunday Times 100 Best Places to Work in the Public and Charities Sectors.
It identifies best practice defined by performance across eight key indicators of workplace engagement, including leadership, management, immediate colleagues, pay and benefits, wellbeing, willingness to give something back and people’s personal development and overall sense of affiliation with their employer.
Some 49,000 employees from 250 organisations across the UK voted as 126 staff at NCFE showed positivity.
One of the firm’s key motivational tools is a ‘special development fund,’ worth £200 per year to each member of its team, which can be used to fund a new skill or hobby.
Some employees have learned how to drive, play the piano and even qualify as an Indian Head Masseuse within the last year.
David Grailey,Chief Executive of NCFE, said: “Gaining recognition as one of the top 100 companies to work for is an achievement we’re extremely proud of.
“We’re continuing to improve our internal systems and our product portfolio to ensure that during what has been a tough time for the education sector across the UK, we remain unbeaten.
“Our people, who we value very highly, have helped to make NCFE one of the top national qualifications providers in the UK by demonstrating their commitment, innovation, and sheer hard work every day which helps to make NCFE such a success.”
Rebecca Brenard, Sector Leader at NCFE, added: “I’ve used my training allowance to pay for a Level 1 Award in British Sign Language, along with my colleague Claire Appleby.
“Not only am I learning some useful skills that I can use both in and out of work, I’ve met new people and more than anything, I am really enjoying myself on the course!”
Tim Dawkins, Marketing Manager said: “The training allowance gives me the opportunity to do things I’d otherwise never try! In May I’m going to learn to ride a motor bike off-road in the Welsh hills with the Yamaha Off-Road School.
“Doing something like this takes you outside your comfort zone and helps you to respond to new challenges in the workplace – it also promises to be great fun!”