Benefits of Online Learning

Talking Digital Content with Brendan Kavanagh

What are the benefits of online learning? ProfileTree’s Ciaran Connolly hosted Olive Group CEO Brendan Kavanagh to explore the potential of this powerful approach to training.

Olive Group was established in 2006 by Brendan, using his experience in the oil and gas sector, as he wanted to bring the most cost-effective methods to the industry through online, mobile and virtual training.

In our Business Leaders interview, Brendan explained more about his career path and the work of his company Olive Group. He also discussed digital content and workforce enhancement in the context of his online learning expertise.



During Brendan’s career he has worked in the oil and gas industry for 24 years, a time of huge change.

“Big movers, all the big oil companies, suddenly started to retreat to exploration and they didn’t understand retail. Then you had large independent retailers taken over, who were pushing for cutting age technology.”

Throughout this time Brendan helped manage four different companies to grow in the oil and gas space. He sold and bought different companies within that  sector before the economic depression hit.

During the economic crisis, Brendan started to consider his options for his future: “In a recession, whats a good business to be in?

“In the Republic of Ireland there was a dynamic, which was FDIs (Foreign Direct Investment) expanding…the likes of Intel, Facebook and Google. Not a lot of people realise that outside of the US that Ireland is probably the largest export of software in the world. So I saw the opportunity for agile learning.

“I started with health and safety and blue collar workforce because blue collars are the largest workforce in the world and are the most regulated. We started to train people in compliance and regulation for the construction industry and then the hospitality industry and now retail, manufacturing, sport and pharmaceuticals.

“The great thing is that digital content doesn’t care where it goes. Initially we started with classroom training and it has its limitations. The fact that people don’t realise is that three hours in a classroom is about a half an hour online. For some of our clients we were saving them millions.

“Online training is not the whole solution, blended learning is the solution.”

Brendan explained that, meanwhile, in the hospitality industry “there are two problems”: “One is a gap in skills, for example one of our partners is the Restaurants Association of Ireland and they have over 400 members. There’s a huge shortage of chefs and also in terms of getting trained waiters and bar staff are being off-loaded quickly, quite often.

“Digital content is the way, hosted in the right environment, to do that. We also live in an age where we [use videos] to get our messaging. You have the likes of Netflix, YouTube etc.

“We knew that we needed to produce content quickly, it needed to be cutting edge and it needed to be the lowest cost with the highest quality. We’ve got 600 digital developers and we create video, 2d, 3d, gaming, augmented reality and virtual reality.”

To discover more about these topics, and much more, see our full video interview.

Olive Learning –

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