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The eight essential skills

Transforming the essential skills
of more than 150,000 learners.

Schools

We support schools to build the essential skills of every learner through the training of staff, a comprehensive curriculum, and links to employers.

Teachers

We provide a suite of tools for teachers to build essential skills in the classroom, including learning activities, classroom resources and assessment tools.

Employers

We partner with employers across all industries and sectors to engage effectively with children and young people through trips and workshops.

Organisations

We collaborate with youth organisations to drive collective impact through the Skills Builder Framework, supporting assessment and impact.

Why these skills?

These are the skills that underpin success at every stage of life: they unlock learning while at school, ensure young people are fully prepared for the independence of university and college, and empower people to land their dream job.

The eight essential skills

We build essential skills with a complete framework that goes step by step.

We work to ensure that one day, everyone will build the essential skills, experiences and aspirations to succeed. So we created the Skills Builder Framework, which underpins our programmes. It takes each of the eight skills and breaks them down into teachable and learnable nuggets - from the age of three through to adulthood.

Six principles for building skills

We’ve developed and refined our approach to make it easy for teachers, youth workers and students to build essential skills. We have six simple principles - our approach in a nutshell.

A rapidly-growing global partnership.

We have built a partnership of schools, employers and other organisations all using the Skills Builder Framework to develop skills with children and young people.

Click the headings below to browse and learn more about all our partners.
Our strategic partners financially support us to expand our work - either through developing new programmes or extending into new areas. We couldn’t grow without them and thank them for all their support.
Our partner organisations apply the Skills Builder Framework within their work and provide additional support within the Partnership through resource collaboration, advocacy and shared expertise. Their unique contributions to the growth and impact of the Partnership is highly valued.
Our strategic partners financially support us to expand our work - either through developing new programmes or extending into new areas. We couldn’t grow without them and thank them for all their support.
Our member organisations are determined to achieve a greater collective impact as part of this growing coalition. They are provided with training and support around the Skills Builder Framework which they apply to their own work, engaging with young people in a wide variety of ways to work towards the overall mission of developing the essential skills.
Our employer partners periodically host visits to their workplaces by groups of students, who get a chance to meet employees and ask questions. Volunteers and students then get to work on a challenge that gives a flavour of what the organisation does.

Download your free toolkit.

We've created toolkits for schools, teachers, employers and organisations that offer advice for embedding the essential skills, the Framework and the principles into their everyday work with children and young people. You can download it for free.

Everything we've learned.

The Missing Piece: The Essential Skills Education Forgot details the rationale for building essential skills, in the light of a decade of practice with over 150,000 children and young people. It rigorously examines the arguments for and evidence behind the six principles, as well as discussing the thinking behind the development of the Skills Builder Framework. The book also looks to the future, outlining a roadmap for the changes we must make to our education system so that every student can be equipped with the skills, experiences and aspirations that will empower them to succeed in life.

Explore our other publications

External Press

Profile: Tom Ravenscroft
Tom Ravenscroft is perhaps the most quietly passionate proponent of a “skills” curriculum in education today – and if that rings alarm bells, keep reading.
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Education must transform to make people ready for AI
We are doubling down on the idea that if we get children to know things and regurgitate them in a certain way in an exam, then we are setting them up...
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Education’s missing piece
Tom Ravenscroft, Founder and CEO of Enabling Enterprise, explains how he is trying to reduce the skills gap. There is something fundamental missing...
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School reports miss the talents that matter - just look at Alan Turing
The education system can sometimes struggle to cope with lateral thinkers. Learning has become formulaic – a case of regurgitating knowledge in...
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‘The Missing Piece’ book review - Dr. Mary Bousted
Ravenscroft has not only done his research – the sources in his book are wide and varied – but he also wears his learning lightly. The result is a very...
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Start-up success: six lessons for aspiring social entrepreneurs
While it may sound poetic, Enabling Enterprise was not born in a flash of inspiration. Rather it emerged from my desperate attempts as a naïve new...
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The latest from the Partnership

Learn all about essential skills and the how our Partnership is leading a movement to prepare young people for success both in school and beyond.

Latest news

Check out all the brilliant work Skills Builder schools have been doing lately...