Last updated: 10.09.12

Virtual College celebrates another milestone with 750,000 learners.

Virtual College is celebrating reaching a staggering 750,000 unique online learners, an increase of quarter of a million on this time last year. One of the UK's leading online training providers, Virtual College continues to buck the economic trend and now boasts a team of over 80 at its offices in Ilkley, West Yorkshire.

Having clocked up an impressive 35 years' service with Molson Coors Brewery, it seemed fitting that Neil Skinner, Blending Room and Beer Recovery Technician, was the lucky learner, who walked away with an iPod Touch after successfully completing a Food Hygiene course online.

E-learning has been a major part of the training provision within the Molson Coors organisation, which firmly believes in the value of a highly trained workforce. Employing 2,300 people across three brewing and office facilities in the UK, the Molson Coors organisation in 2011 began a major transformation of its Burton Brewery by investing an additional £15 million per year for the next five years as part of the global brewer’s Brewing Renaissance programme.

Food Hygiene training is mandatory for all operatives who are involved in handling beer-making ingredients in their raw state. Other Virtual College courses undertaken by Coors operatives include Awareness of Legionnaires' Disease and 5S Essentials, based on a Japanese management productivity tool, which focuses on ensuring a clean and orderly workplace.

Virtual College’s Marketing Manager, Peter Hilliard reports that the pace of growth over the past 12 months is phenomenal. Peter says "Our courses continue to be a valuable training resource for companies of all sizes. The system allows a record to be kept of course results, training needs and appraisals for each employee, which is a key tool for employers to get the very best from, in many cases today, a reduced workforce."

Virtual College boasts over 200 online training courses covering areas as diverse as Data Protection, Health & Safety and Fire Safety to the Bribery Act, Safeguarding Children and Infection Prevention Control. Of the 750,000 registered online learners with Virtual College, nearly 100,000 are studying, or have completed, the company’s ever popular Food Hygiene Level 2.

Chief Executive Rod Knox said: "Despite the current economic climate, we continue to thrive, as individuals, businesses and organisations, across both the public and private sectors, seek to access innovative, flexible and cost-effective training solutions.

We are constantly enhancing our e-learning provision across all sectors through the development of both new academies and training courses. E-learning is an increasingly popular and proven alternative to traditional face-to-face training, which in the current climate can save money. Geographical restrictions are removed and learners can access their training at a pace, place and time to suit them. We are well equipped to respond to future challenges and opportunities."