Virgin Trains

On Track With Intec

Virgin Trains takes more than 34.5 million passengers a year at speeds of 125 mph to destinations across Great Britain along the West Coast Main Line. It has Investors in People gold status and for the last 10 years has been working with Intec to develop staff at its managed stations nationwide.

Among them is Karen Grimshaw, station manager for Virgin Trains at Manchester Piccadilly, who has just completed a Management Level 5 qualification with Intec. As the manager of more than 85 staff at one of Virgin Trains’ busiest 24-hour stations, Karen found the course work to be an ideal fit with the day-to-day demands of her role, while at the same time providing insight to enhance her management and leadership skills going forward.

In a company passionate about both innovation and customer care, she says: ‘The Management Level 5 course has made me think about what I do and what I may want to do differently in the future. It’s been vital in my job because Virgin is a vibrant and fast-moving business; we get involved with a lot of new projects to enhance the customer experience and it all requires a lot of planning, recruitment and training.

’She says recent projects have included the introduction of ticket barriers; the Level 5 qualification supported Karen in this with a number of its core components, covering areas such as developing and implementing operational plans, effective change management, finance and human resources.

With regards to staffing, for example, Karen says: ‘It’s very much about having the right people from the start.I’d probably look for potential leaders now rather than employ someone simply to do a task like selling tickets or dispatching trains because it’s about having people who want to be involved in taking the business forward and having a vision of the future. The course makes you think.’

Karen completed the course over 16 months and has in turn encouraged other staff members to undertake and proceed to higher level qualifications with Intec.

‘The course has benefited both me personally and the company,’ concludes Karen. ‘It helps you to understand and reflect on your role, and provides learning which you can use to improve your own skills and share with colleagues who are likewise working through team leader and management qualifications with Intec.’

To find out more please contact Intec Business Colleges on freephone 0808 100 1155.