A great example of flexible delivery in staff training is P&O Ferries contacting Highbury College to discuss opportunities for upskilling staff working on the Pride of Bilbao. 

The ferry service, which ran between Portsmouth and Spain, was to be withdrawn shortly and the company wanted to retrain staff to prepare them for new roles.

More than 40 students, including French, Spanish and English crew members employed in cleaning, catering, hospitality, operational management roles, were enrolled on courses in Business and IT.

From the outset, all contact between tutors and students took place on-board the ferry. However the four-night crossing was affecting the students’ ability to progress, as they were not always available for regular classes. Half in jest, it was suggested that the students would learn faster if the tutors stayed on-board with them for the crossings.

The idea was swiftly taken up and tutors undertook two crossings to ensure students had adequate contact time. By making classes available on the ferry, Highbury was able to support the P&O staff in achieving qualifications that would have been very difficult for them to complete otherwise.

“Working with Highbury has been a huge success,” says Steve Gainey, Operations Manager Western Channel P&O. “Everyone’s completed their NVQs relevant to the level they are at so it has been a big morale booster for the crew, especially at a difficult time. The crew got a lot out of having the extra time that Highbury was able to make available.”