1. Organisational Challenge

Brittany Ferries is the leading maritime carrier for both passenger and commercial traffic on the western and central regions of the English Channel. In addition, it’s an award-winning tour operator for motoring holidays to France, Spain and Portugal. Founded in 1972 by a group of Breton farmers, the company now operates between four countries and 11 ports and employs approximately 2,500 people with 350 located in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

The UK and Ireland management team, which comprises more than 90 managers with varying roles, responsibilities and experience, is located across four sites. Many of the team have grown with the company and are highly skilled and technically competent in their own areas of expertise.

The Training and Development Team was presented with the challenge of identifying ways to provide consistent and continuous information and support in core management and leadership skills.

The solution would need to be long-lasting and flexible to cover the different locations and availability of the team, as well as offering an approved qualification of professional development.

2. Choosing Impellus

Brittany Ferries had previously conducted in-house training but needed a fresh approach. It was looking to maximise opportunities for the management team to benefit from interacting with managers from other industry sectors and to get to know the world outside of the organisation.

“The open leadership and management courses offered by Impellus were attractive for a variety of reasons. The flexibility of dates and venues around the UK is very important as they enable us to manage the various individuals’ time away from the office more strategically. The selection of course topics allows us to cater for the variety of roles in our management team and makes the courses very relevant to their needs” said Sam Hiscox.

“In addition, Impellus stood out from other management training providers because its trainers are directly employed by the organisation which ensures consistency of content delivery and authenticity of the subject irrespective of where our managers experience the training. Another advantage was that the team were not required to undertake the training in blocks of 3-4 days but could attend single day courses across a period that suited their schedule.”

Other key factors in selecting Impellus were that its leadership and management training is approved by the ILM, as studying Awards at Level 3 and 5 is very appealing to many managers at Brittany Ferries. Also the ability to buy delegate days in bundles that qualify for a discount has enabled them to budget effectively and tactically.

3. Working with Impellus

“To date we’ve had delegates attend courses covering most of the topics linked to the ILM Award Level 3. They have all responded with very positive feedback having found the training interesting and informative with the supporting material seen as very useful, relevant and easy to use.”

“Personally, I have found working with the Impellus team extremely easy; they are very prompt at responding to our requests and are always helpful and supportive if we need to amend a booking. Their website and Business Centre are very easy to navigate and use” commented Sam Hiscox.

4. Results Achieved

“It is still early on our Impellus journey, but we are experiencing changes in our company culture with the emphasis shifting from the ‘push of training’ to the ‘pull of learning’. Most of our junior or middle managers have either undertaken or signed up for the core Leadership Skills Development course with a significant number already registered for the ILM Award 3. Currently we have over 55 employees involved in the leadership and management programme.”

“We are already seeing a difference in the attitude of our managers; they have a clearer understanding of their responsibilities and how their role integrates with others in the organisation. The training has enabled them to broaden their horizons and see the bigger picture.” commented Claudia Miles.

“Another important benefit of Impellus’ open courses is that our managers now realise that they have the same day-to-day challenges as delegates from other organisations and sectors, and yet these challenges can be overcome with the appropriate training and support.”

Sam Hiscox and Claudia Miles, Training and Development Managers