Virgin Media improves the quality of training and reduces costs through outsourced learning

Virgin Media, one of the UK’s leading entertainment and communications companies, has improved the quality of its external training and achieved significant annual savings on course fees alone, through an innovative outsourced learning contract.

All external training for Virgin Media’s 13,000 UK employees is now sourced, managed, administered and evaluated by KnowledgePool, the managed learning company. This includes leadership development, management, niche, technical and specialist training and involves over 8,000 delegate days per year.


“The success of our company is built upon the passion and skills of our people,” said James Iles, Head of Employee Learning for Virgin Media. “Developing our people and making the most of their talent is therefore a critical business factor for us and our partnership with KnowledgePool plays a key role in helping us to achieve this aim. With KnowledgePool’s understanding of the market and their sourcing expertise, we get the very best training at the very best prices. We also get a lot of management information which gives us full visibility of our training.”


For any given training need, KnowledgePool will provide a shortlist of relevant and capable vendors. They also supervise the tender process and manage the proposals. Virgin Media then makes the final decision on which vendor is chosen, whether it’s for classroom-based training, a bespoke e-learning project or online learning.


“The choice of the final training solution is down to us,” said James Iles. “Having KnowledgePool to manage the procurement process frees up our time, which enables us to concentrate on business-critical activities.”


KnowledgePool typically saves Virgin Media around 40% off the price of technical training and 28% off other training courses. In the last year, this resulted in significant course fee savings.


KnowledgePool first provided a managed learning service for NTL in 2002. After the formation of Virgin Media in 2007 – when NTL, Telewest and Virgin Mobile were brought together – all external training delivery gradually migrated to KnowledgePool.


“As a business that has grown and matured over the past few years, we now put even greater emphasis on the quality of our training interventions and on their outcomes,” said James Iles. “Cost savings are obviously important for any organisation but our relationship with KnowledgePool gives us much more than that. They’ve taken the time to understand our business and our values. They bring us top quality training and they support us throughout the whole training life cycle.”

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