The lifeline service provider for the Northern Isles is the first ferry operator in Scotland to achieve Gold accreditation in the Investors in People scheme.
The assessor’s comments noted: “Under very strong leadership…you have continued to act on internal and external feedback to improve performance and engagement within the business.
Your workforce overall is very proud to work for NorthLink – they are engaged and highly motivated to perform at their best.”
The report went on to say: “…the overwhelming view is that people believe that they are ‘in safe hands’ and they trust leaders to do the right thing for them and the business. In relation to this, they also spoke about the huge positive impact NorthLink has had on the communities it serves, not only through sponsorship, community engagement strategies and procuring local food and drink – but also through the strategy of recruiting local people and providing opportunities for apprenticeships from the areas you serve.”
Particular improvements were made in internal communications, planning staff shifts and workloads, and staff health and wellbeing.
As well as walking groups, improved healthy eating options and mental health training, NorthLink Ferries staff and crew also took part in health screening with Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.
Stuart Garrett, Serco’s Managing Director at NorthLink Ferries, commented: “Our service is more than just a way of getting from A to B in safety and comfort. We provide a unique experience and our staff are central to that. I’m very proud of the positive steps we’ve taken to further improve working life at NorthLink Ferries as this translates directly into an even better service for our customers. My thanks go to all of my colleagues for their talent, effort and commitment.”
NorthLink Ferries also now meets the requirements of the Investors in Young People Good Practice Award and has achieved Silver accreditation.
The assessors comments said: “The profile of your business is such that your reputation and profile as a good employer makes you attractive to Young People confident of a career rather than a job. A number of Young People have developed to the extent of being described as excellent role models. This encourages others and sharing these success stories will enhance your reputation, impacting on recruitment and retention to a greater extent.”
The work to secure the silver IIYP accreditation includes creating strong relationships with local schools and colleges. There is a new Apprenticeship programme in partnership with the North Atlantic Fisheries College’s (NAFC) Marine Centre in Shetland, improving the support for the trainee Deck and Engine apprentices.