Delivering learning excellence at scale with Elisabeth Barrett


At Multiverse, we’re breaking down an old system and building a better one. By combining applied learning, expert coaching and a vibrant community, we deliver a world-class education that rivals that of the top universities. As a result, close to 90% of apprentices complete our programmes – with 65% achieving outstanding results. We caught up with Elisabeth Barrett, our VP of Learning, on how we are shaping the future of learning, at scale.

Why do you think apprenticeships are the solution?

If you think about the way great learning should be structured to prepare people to be really effective in their careers, you would never have designed the existing educational system. It doesn’t make any sense. What you would do is start with your end goals in mind and design backwards, to really prepare people. And that’s exactly what we’ve done at Multiverse.

Apprenticeships offer the learning that individuals need to be successful in a real-world context. Apprentices learn with the support of a coach, it’s immediately applied in practice, and they receive constant feedback. This enables apprentices to develop at pace.

When I think about the kind of world that I want to live in, I want people to feel confident and prepared for their careers. I want learning to be effective, regardless of your background, or how well you performed on academic tests at school. I want Multiverse apprenticeships to be accessible to everyone, and I want to support our apprentices through as many programmes as they need to upskill and develop throughout their careers. Apprenticeships are the solution to so many things that we really must get right in the next 10 years.

Our mission is big and we want to impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of apprentices, how do we deliver learning excellence at scale?

One of the things that I really love about Multiverse is that we’ve evolved from a coaching and human-centric model. We’ve been living through an era where the trend has been towards big technology to solve problems at scale. And what we’ve seen is that technology is really good at enabling learning, and it’s great for delivering certain types of learning - but it’s not the entire solution.

I think we can all agree that sitting in front of your computer for hours on end doesn’t prepare you to apply intricate and complex skills in the world of work, with real people. So when we think about scale at Multiverse, we’re keeping social learning, peer learning, group coaching and personalised interactions at the core of what we do. But we’re building technology and processes around this model to support our growth. We’ve gone from 1,000 to 5,000 apprentices in just two years. We’re on track to continue this rate of growth, with a goal to serve 100,000 apprentices, and we see technology as an enabler to our solution.

Why should someone join the Learning and Delivery teams at Multiverse?

It is such an exciting time to be part of this work. We’re literally shaping the future of what learning looks like in the real world. Our Learning teams get to create the programs and learning experiences that make all of this possible. They are at the heart of ensuring apprentice success, for everyone, regardless of their background. And everyone in the team is curious and interested in developing and learning themselves too, so you’ll be surrounded by truly exceptional people.

Our Delivery team is made up of coaches from so many different backgrounds and previous experiences, but who all have the same commitment to making sure that our apprentices are successful. There is perhaps no better job than getting to coach apprentices every day. When I attended our most recent apprentice graduation, the main feedback I heard from apprentices was that they wouldn’t have completed their programs had it not been for their coach. In many traditional learning or ed-tech models, those people would have dropped out, but our coaches really made the difference and they stand for what’s possible for each of them.

What makes Multiverse a special place to work?

It’s a strange time to be a human in a lot of ways - there are lots of challenging things happening in our world. There are environmental problems, clear socio-economic barriers, and systemic inequalities. One of the things that I love about working at Multiverse is that you wake up every day and the impact you’re making is clear. We’re proactively building a solution for a better future, and you’re surrounded by people who are committed to making it happen. A truly exceptional set of circumstances.

I don’t see a lot of other companies out there who have a strong combination of excellence and social values. Getting those two things right is really difficult. On top of that, Multiversers are full of integrity and kindness. This means that we move at pace, we focus on doing the right thing, and we solve problems rapidly. I regularly hear from people who join our company that it is unlike anywhere else, and I'm really proud to be part of that.

Join our team and shape the future of learning.

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