Activate Learning

Based in Oxford and Berkshire, Activate Learning is a forward-thinking organisation group that aims for far-reaching, progressive change and impact through learning. The college sees learners as individuals, helping them to make the right choice of course and career pathway. It delivers education and training across a number of secondary, further, higher and international institutions, alongside apprenticeships, workforce training and management consultancy. Among its specialisms, it has a unique learning philosophy and strong support for learners with special needs. The college also has a renowned business school. The Activate Business School is a leading provider of business consultancy and a member of the Activate Learning group.

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Unique Learning Philosophy

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Activate Business School

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Support for special needs

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Case Studies

Check out some of the innovative partnerships that Activate Learning has developed with employers.

BMW ProLead Programme

Background ProLead is a Level 4 programme which mirrors the German ‘Meister-Pruefung’. In the UK it was developed by the Automotive Industrial Partnership, part-funded by the government’s Employer Ownership Fund.

Challenge BMW wanted a training provider to design and deliver the programme for 170 Process Leaders in BMW’s Cowley, Swindon and Hams Hall manufacturing sites. This required capability to provide ILM Level 4, HNC in automotive manufacturing and NVQ level 4 in engineering manufacturing to a workforce heavily committed on the production line.

Solution In February 2015 Activate Enterprise (AE) won the tender to deliver the programme and start the first cohort within 6 weeks. AE set up joint weekly programme governance and led a consortium of the Automotive Industrial Partnership to design and approve a bespoke HNC with Pearson. Each element of the programme has been co-designed by AE with BMW’s expert practitioners, including facilitated psychometrics (Insights and StrengthsFinder). AE also manages the tracking, claims and quality assurance of funding claims to the Employer Ownership Fund.

Results After 12 months the programme is on-schedule, with over 100 participants enrolled and 100% achievement so far on the ILM programme. Participant satisfaction and applicability of the programme to the workplace both run consistently at over 90%.

WHS Plastics

Background WHS Plastics is a major supplier of injection-moulded parts to Jaguar Land Rover, BMW and Bentley. The company has over 400 staff in production plants, in Birmingham, Runcorn and Egypt, and is experiencing significant growth. In 2015, the Board decided to invest in skills development as a way of supporting growth and productivity.

Challenge Using the government’s Employer Ownership fund for part of the investment, WHS Plastics looked for a training partner which was flexible enough to design a large bespoke programme, but rigorous enough to satisfy funding rules for the subsidized components. The company needed to deliver a programme for 200 staff and managers within a few months, covering leadership, management, IT and project management skills. Delivery is at their headquarters near Birmingham.

Solution In September 2015 Activate Enterprise was chosen to deliver the programme, with a start date within 4 weeks. Planning and project management of the programme was shared between the company and Activate Enterprise, driving a series of workshops covering IT skills and leadership development for middle managers. Project management skills development is being set up for the later phase of the programme. The leadership programme is bespoke to the company, including use of Insights Discovery as a psychometric tool to help managers improve their self-awareness and communication style.

Results The programme is still under way, but initial feedback from the participants and the Managing Director is excellent.


Background Miele is renowned for their high quality engineering and customer service, operating internationally. With their vision to be ‘the best premium brand in the UK’ their customer experience team identified that investment was required within their leadership team.

Challenge Miele had already invested in the development of some foundational leadership development plans with the introduction of the road map to manage and develop performance across the organisation. Along with results from the Internal Engagement Survey Miele identified a requirement for leadership development to increase internal and external performance.

Solution In January 2015 Activate Enterprise was chosen to deliver the programme which combined Insights Discovery as a tool to provide opportunities to explore behaviors integrated with an accredited ILM level 3. The programme was delivered over 5 training days and 1 year embedding it the workplace. The evidence was collated through assignments, presentations and assessments which provided the delegates with opportunities to provide business improvement opportunities.

Results The programme resulted in 6 L3 ILM diplomas being achieved along with 19 receiving L3 ILM certificates for first line managers operating within Miele’s Head office.

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