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December 2021: Round up


We've got several early Christmas gifts for you in this bumper edition of the Partnerships newsletter.

You can read not one, not two, but three new blogs from the past several weeks.

For the first, we've written some reflections on really encouraging news for the Partnership: the House of Lords Youth Unemployment Committee just released a report that explicitly endorses the Skills Builder Framework language and approach.

There's also a brand new product ready for you to use: Skills Builder Homezone. It's a home learning platform designed to help parents and carers build essential skills at home with their children, so do share it with anyone you know who'll benefit from it.

Then we have another thought piece on how essential skills are crucial for climate related jobs, and finally a roundup from our teams on what's happened this year.

The Partnership is ending 2021 on a high note, and it's thanks to your help. We can't wait to see what opportunities and achievements are to come next year.

In this newsletter:

  • Read about the House of Lords Youth Unemployment Report and our thoughts
  • Explore Homezone, catch up on the introduction webinar, and learn how you can use this new resource
  • Check out our blog in response to COP26 on the link between essential skills and the green sector
  • Join all our teams as they look back on the highlights of 2021
  • See our latest job opportunities

Scroll down for all the latest. See you in the new year!


Tom Ravenscroft

Founder and CEO, Skills Builder Partnership

House of Lords committee endorses Skills Builder language and approach

A recently published House of Lords committee report explores youth unemployment and skills in depth.  

The report finds that youth employment remains a widespread and pressing issue, while skills teaching is chronically underemphasised - and further indicates the strong correlation between these two issues. It therefore puts forward recommendations that we endorse, such as integrating skills teaching in the school curriculum (including essential skills) and widening access to skills teaching and training opportunities for all young people.

The Skills Builder language around skills is adopted and maintained throughout the report, including our definitions of essential skills, basic skills, and technical skills, based on our Universal Framework.

So too are our publications and research cited, such as our analysis of essential skills and education outcomes that we released earlier this year.

We've written a blog analysing these findings and expressing our views on what needs to happen next. Check it out below.

Homezone is now live

This week, we launched our brand new home learning platform, Skills Builder Homezone.

Homezone has been created with a parent and carer audience in mind for them to use at home with their children.

Parents and carers can:

  • Access family activities at home to build essential skills
  • Take part in our popular weekly skill challenges
  • Enjoy building skills at a time and pace to suit their family
  • Support older children to use the independent tools Skills Builder Benchmark and Skills Builder Launchpad for their own skill development

We held a webinar and also have a follow-up blog containing both the webinar recording and an instructional video to help you get to grips with everything that’s new.

Be the first in line to check it out, and share with your parent and carer communities.

COP26: Universal skills for a universal challenge

With climate change at the top of everyone's agenda, especially after the most recent UN Climate Change Conference, what skills does our workforce need to mitigate the problem at hand?

That's what our our External Affairs Manager Erica Popplewell sought to explore in one of the latest blogs, which reveals the link between essential skills and green skills.

The year's highlights from our teams


We've had a great year working with a wider range of schools and colleges than ever before.

There has been a widespread uptake of the Skills Builder approach, and we're working closely with a cohort of schools and colleges to apply best practice in teaching skills. More than 300 UK schools/colleges now hold our Skills Builder Awards to reflect this work together. This time last year, these Awards did not exist!

Plus - so far in 2021-22...

  • 95% of teachers are more confident to teach essential skills in their classrooms
  • 94% of Skills Leaders are more confident to support their teachers
  • Average delivery feedback scores (out of 5) were  4.7 for facilitation, 4.6 for content, and 4.4 for engagement (out of 5)

Impact organisations

This year has been full of achievements for the organisations team.

Our biggest was probably launching the Impact Directory. From this, we've seen more than 1.2 million high quality opportunities to boost essential skills delivered in 2020-1.

We've also worked with 177 impact organisations in the Partnership across the UK and internationally.

Some other highlights include our launch of the Youth Guide and Inclusive Organisations Guide.


We're seeing really encouraging progress with employers, and a growing number are putting our approach into practice in:

  • Supporting building essential skills in education and for individuals who are outside training, education or employment
  • Ensuring objectivity and transparency in recruitment, supporting diversity, inclusion and social mobility
  • Engaging all staff to boost their essential skills across their careers

Many employers also financially supported the delivery of our work with schools, colleges, and impact organisations - we're deeply grateful for their support.