It’s great to announce that Skills Builder and UBS have received a Business Charity Award from Third Sector, recognising our collaborative work to close the skills gap for young people everywhere. Judges praised the clear impact our work has had, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds, and the number of young people Skills Builder has been able to reach with UBS’s support. As one judge commented, “the scaling up of the project is super impressive.”
Ten years ago, UBS took a chance on a new social enterprise, providing what was then ‘Enabling Enterprise’ with our first corporate support. Back then, we were working in just a handful of classrooms, trying out our new approach to building the essential skills which were largely missing from the curriculum. UBS saw the potential in what we were trying to achieve, and offered us some crucial early-stage funding to get us off the ground. They have been with us as a partner on our journey ever since.
Beyond their generous financial investment, UBS have supported us in so many different ways, including hosting our initial launch event back in 2010 and being the first of our partner employers to host a trip for local students. They have since hosted over 3,000 students at their offices, to rave feedback from students and their teachers. The visits help students to see the real value of the skills, as well as building their understanding, and confidence in, completely different workplaces.
The Business Charity Award recognises that the breadth of our collaboration with UBS is what makes our partnership so unique. Over the years we have benefited hugely from the expertise of many individuals who have acted as advisors, supporters and advocates across UBS. Through their volunteering programme they have provided us with technical expertise at crucial moments – for example, a UBS employee helped to design and create our first website. Another pair of volunteers in the marketing department helped to design our first logo and the marketing materials we used.
“As a global employer, UBS has adopted a skills-based approach to overcome disadvantage in our communities. Studies show that young people are leaving school and entering the workplace without the essential skills needed for successful careers. Having worked together for over 10 years now, we’re helping to equip young people with the essential skills needed for successful futures, and it is the innovative Skills Builder Framework that is key to achieving this mission. Together, our shared vision is helping young people to broaden their skills for successful futures.” - Sarah Craner, Executive Director, Global & EMEA Community Affairs, UBS
With UBS’s support, Skills Builder has grown from an ambitious start-up, to a national organisation, to leading a partnership of over 750 schools, colleges, organisations and employers. UBS has advocated for the Skills Builder approach to be used across their partner schools and organisations. From transformative funding to pro bono support, and years of championing our cause, Skills Builder wouldn’t be where we are today without UBS. We look forward to many more years of working together to ensure that one day, everyone builds the essential skills to succeed.