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Simon Hill - Employers contact
Maryam Darby - Schools contact
Rachel Mowle - Organisations contact
Evelyn Haywood - Teachers contact

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An international partnership of schools, teachers, employers and youth organisations building the eight essential skills for success.

The Skills Builder Partnership

United Kingdom
Through our work with 500+ organisations, 10,000+ educators and 200,000+ learners, we help schools and teachers to teach essential skills through engaging project-based learning. We also link with local employers, who host inspiring workplace trips to give students a taste of the world of work. Finally, we collaborate with youth organisations to provide a Framework for building skills.

What is The Skills Builder Partnership?

Tom Ravenscroft, CEO
“It has never been more important to invest in building a set of essential skills in our children and young people: the ability to communicate effectively, to creatively solve problems, to manage themselves and to work well with others.”

Tom Ravenscroft, CEO

There is something fundamental missing in education. Knowledge and good grades are not enough.

We see it in schools, where students often struggle to articulate their ideas, work with others, solve problems or organise themselves to achieve their goals. We see it in colleges and universities, where tutors fear their undergraduates struggle without the structures and support offered by schools. One in twelve freshers from a low-income background drops out. We see it in businesses and startups, where employers consistently report that they prioritise the employability skills of school and college leavers - but then 50% report that they cannot recruit young people with these skills.

In every case, students need to be skilled in communication, creative problem solving, self-management and collaboration. The language around this is diverse and confusing: are they 'employability', 'enterprise', 'entrepreneurship', 'transferable' or 'soft' skills? We simply call them essential skills, because that is what they are.

At the core of our work is the Skills Builder Framework, which breaks down each of the eight essential skills into teachable and measurable steps. This is expanded upon in depth by all of our programmes and products, and we have a tailored offering for each aspect of the Partnership.

For schools, we offer bespoke programmes for integrating essential skills into the curriculum, featuring a range of multi-part Lesson-time Projects and whole-school Challenge Days. We also provide training and support on the best practices for teaching the skills, and our powerful online tool makes assessment rapid and informative. Finally, we link schools with local employers so they can develop skills in a real-life context.

Individual teachers can access our 10-minute video activities for free, as well as a host of printable resources like posters, certificates and detailed handbooks for teaching.

We're also becoming increasingly engaged with schools and teachers internationally; teachers in 12 countries use our online resources; we've shared our work with educators in Poland, China, Uganda, the US and more; and we run projects with international school partners, such as Sohar International School in Oman.

For employers, we provide strong two-way links with schools in the local community and help to organise inspiring workplace visits where volunteers work with students on the skills they'll really need. We're also beginning to work with employers to embed the Framework into their existing youth work.

Finally, we're working closely with a wide range of youth organisations that also build skills, helping to integrate the Framework into their existing programmes. This allows them to design their programmes based on a consistent and rigorous system, making measuring impact much more efficient and meaningful.

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Innovation Overview
3 - 18
Age Group
1 065
Tips for implementation
We provide a range of classroom resources, from multi-part projects to whole-school challenges. We also have a range of online tools and content, including a powerful assessment tool and short video activities. We link schools with local employers and run inspiring workplace visits. Finally, we provide training and support on the best practices for teaching the skills.
Contact information
Simon Hill - Employers contact
Maryam Darby - Schools contact
Rachel Mowle - Organisations contact
Evelyn Haywood - Teachers contact

Achievements & Awards


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Check out the Skills Builder Framework + more
To help you discover the Framework and start integrating it into your work, we've created four Toolkits, each tailored to the needs of the different sectors we work with. They offer advice for embedding the essential skills into your daily work with children and young people, as well a copy of the F
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School leader? Get in touch about our programmes.
Becoming a Partner School means working closely with our team of teachers to develop a comprehensive approach to building essential skills.
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Teacher? Check out our free video activities + resources.
For individual teachers who want to develop their students' essential skills in the classroom, we provide access to a selection of our tools and resources.
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Skills-building organisation? Let's integrate the Framework.
Organisations that work with children and young people frequently develop essential skills in the course of their work. We help provide a rigorous and consistent framework for building those skills, as well as associated resources.
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Employer? Join our growing network.
Over 130 employers are already part of the Skills Builder Partnership through Enabling Enterprise. These partners host regular trips for schools students, support learning in the classroom and work with schools in many other ways.
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