Manchester / Talent & Recruitment

Head of Learning & Development

Founded 26 years ago, Travel Counsellors is the UK’s leading travel marketplace for self-employed travel agents with a growing international presence. Private equity backed by Vitruvian Partners, well-known for backing exceptional entrepreneurs and management teams in companies creating sustainable high growth or strategic value through change and transformation, our disruptive model enables over 1,800 independent travel entrepreneurs to create home-based travel businesses using a high touch, service-led approach to target a wide range of leisure and corporate travel customers.

With our own sophisticated and proprietary technology (Phenix), 2019 was the Company’s 17th year of consecutive double-digit growth with a total transaction value (TTV) surpassing £650million for the first time and with a UK leisure travel market valued at £6bn, we believe our aim to ‘scale with intimacy’ will help drive our mission to transform the travel experiences for our customers and the lives of our Travel Counsellors, colleagues and communities.

Multi-award winning as a result of a business model that is powered by our people and unique sense of community, we’re more confident than ever that our business will be even more valuable in a post-pandemic world as we look to capitalise on a consumer group looking for personal service from a travel provider whilst offering a life-changing experience for our global Travel Counsellors community.

Role Summary

We’re looking for a tech-savvy, digitally minded talent development professional to grow our learning capability for our global Travel Counsellors community. Passionate about learning and an expert in your field, this role will be responsible for creating and implementing a learning strategy that enhances the brand of our special business, leveraging the power of digital to connect, inform, educate and inspire our Travel Counsellors to even greater success.

Welcoming applications from anywhere across the UK, this global role will be based at our Manchester Support Office once we’re back up and running again with the expectation of being in Manchester at least 3 days a week. This is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced Talent Development professional to think big and deliver industry leading learning experiences that will make a significant difference to the lives of our Travel Counsellors, supporting them to grow and develop their businesses whilst providing a best-in-class platform to learn.

Working collaboratively with key stakeholders, this role is critical to embedding a high-performance culture at Travel Counsellors as we look to support our people with the skills and the tools to maximise their potential and create a future without limits. You’ll own the entire learning journey of the Travel Counsellor, supported by a team of talented training professionals and a specialist Learning Tech Product Owner.

The key to this role is to commission and facilitate learning, building an open learning platform that takes advantage of the very best on-line content and programmes, enabling fully personalised learning.

You’ll also provide mentorship and support to the learning experience for our global colleagues when required, working collaboratively with our People Partners to design and deliver a world-class learning offering for our people.

You have to be comfortable with working strategically but being able to deliver operationally too, as with a small team, it’s all hands-on deck. This role isn’t for empire builders, but for those willing to roll their sleeves up and design a world-class learning product that will take our business, and their career to the next level.

You will be innovative, entrepreneurial and keen to disrupt the norm, challenging our talent and our business to be the best. We’re looking for a forward-thinking individual who can step up and shine, throwing the old school L&D rule-book out of the window.

Adding Value to Travel Counsellors

You’ll be the go-to person for creating learning experiences for our Travel Counsellors, working collaboratively with strategic partners across the business to drive a learning culture that supports our people to thrive.

This is a role that combines strategy with execution so you will need to be comfortable with taking an idea from inception through to delivery and bringing our people with you along on the journey, working on the following:

Some of the key outputs we’ll expect you to deliver or play a key role in include:

  • Design and implement a true learning culture across the Travel Counsellors community, identifying opportunities across the entire user journey for digital transformation and improving the learning experience across design, content and delivery, balancing our ambitions with the strategic goals of the business
  • Own the delivery of our learning redesign project aimed at designing a truly personalised, scalable digital product that is best in class and significantly enhances our value proposition
  • Lead the way in digital learning with the knowledge and creativity to inspire through the power of technology
  • Understand key market trends in learning, development and technology to identify and implement opportunities for Travel Counsellors
  • Leverage our Travel Counsellors community to establish a user-centred design approach to content development, obtaining a clear understanding on what the customer (TC) needs in terms of development opportunities to support and develop their businesses.
  • Support the development of community-based learning through our peer-to-peer learning network
  • Own the onboarding experience of our new Travel Counsellors, ensuring that their engagement with our business is best in class
  • Implement and leverage a strong data informed culture to inform and influence the learning agenda, inventing and simplifying our learning offering to ensure maximum impact.
  • Measure and report on business impact of learning experiences and development initiatives for our Travel Counsellor community, analysing talent and learning data to identify issues, trends and gain strategic talent insights
  • Oversee the operational delivery of a detailed training programme and manage a team of three committed and talented training professionals
  • Act as a champion of our culture across the business, visibly role modelling our values and behaviours to your team, peers and the wider Travel Counsellors community.
  • Work in an agile and matrix environment to positively influence a range of stakeholders to deliver real value add for our business

Skills & Experience Required

A team player with a minimum of 3-5 years relevant senior L&D experience, ideally within a fast-paced, tech-based business with a proven track record of success in creating, developing and delivering a range of learning initiatives via different platforms

Commanding working knowledge of Learning Management Systems and Instructional Design

A natural communicator and collaborator that quickly gains the trust and engagement of our leaders and senior managers to deliver results, quickly but effectively

A brilliant presenter and facilitator, experienced in commissioning, facilitating and delivering training with the ability to inspire and motivate a range of audiences, across on-line and offline channels

A strategic thinker with experience in translating the objectives of a business into a clear learning strategy and the gravitas to successfully embed new initiatives across Travel Counsellors

An innovator who keeps their knowledge up to date regarding the latest technology and digital trends in this area and has an entrepreneurial approach to service design and delivery

A strong understanding and ability to utilise design-thinking methodology to create service improvements based on the requirements and needs of a range of stakeholders

Capable of designing and managing learning opportunities with the appropriate levels of consistency for a global business, and a clear understanding of international cultural differences

Able to work in an agile, high pressured environment and can respond quickly to stakeholder needs

Experience in managing and influencing multiple stakeholders, globally, and comfortable working with C-level executives

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