By clicking “Accept”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyse site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

View our Privacy Notice.

Raising awareness of essential skills for adults: A spotlight on Lifepilot

Recent research has identified the benefits of essential skills for careers and employment, with higher levels of essential skills connected to lower levels of unemployment and 92% of workers seeing them as important for success within their career (Essential Skills Tracker 2023). However, it’s also revealed a skills trap where individuals with less opportunities to develop these skills, placing less emphasis on them and leading to lower life and job satisfaction.

Lifepilot, a member of the Skills Builder Partnership, provides an online career management platform for adults who are looking for advice on learning, work, apprenticeships and progressing onto higher education. Through the site, they are also working to raise awareness of the essential skills for adults including how they apply to careers and can be developed.

As they’ve recently received an Impact Level 1 accreditation for their platform, we met with Ruth Thomas to find out why the skills are important for adults and how individuals can use the Lifepilot site to build them further. 

What is Lifepilot and why was it created?

Lifepilot is a one-stop careers platform aimed at adults aged 19 plus. It was created about 14 years ago in the view that there wasn’t really a resource out there for adults where they could get reliable advice and guidance about their progression routes. 

Ultimately it was established to try and encourage adults to eventually go into higher education through whatever starting point they were at. We try to find the starting point that resonates with adults no matter what stage they are at with their learning journey, so it’s about work, it’s about training but there’s also a lot of emphasis on education and how they get back onto a learning pathway.

What is the value in developing essential skills as an adult?

The essential skills has a really good framework behind it which has been established thoroughly and is well recognised not only in the UK but also internationally. We decided to partner up with Skills Builder because it reinforces the key messages of what we wanted to promote on our site. 

In the “Improve your skills” section we’ve come up with some skills, in collaboration with higher education institutions, that are valuable for them as well as employers and we saw that the essential skills map really well and align closely with those we had identified. It’s a way of reinforcing that message for adults by using a well recognised site which is well established and credible.

The skills provide adults with a starting point for guidance on what employers value. If they try to firstly identify this set of skills within themselves, reflect on them and then maybe identify any gaps or areas of improvement it gives them the confidence that they are focusing on the right things. If they start by focusing on these ones they know they will be doing something right.

Some of the essential skills that have been identified in the framework like Staying Positive, Aiming High and the Leadership skill help to change their mindsets as well. It’s about making them a bit more aspirational as well because I think they’re quite positive essential skills to work towards as well. I think that would help them with their life choices and careers in the future.

Why did you embed them into Lifepilot?

To align closely to a well recognised Framework that is really researched and valued by employers and to give weight to what we are doing. 

It’s also important to work collaboratively with another organisation to share another resource. What’s at the heart of what we want to do is to help adults, we like to work with other organisations that can support even more. It’s good that we can link in with tools like Benchmark and Launchpad so adults can not only reflect on their skills but also do something about it using the Launchpad tool. It works really closely with what we’re trying to do as well because in our “Improve Your Skills” section we have exercises that will help them reflect on the skills and we also signpost them to links to short courses. 

We’re building up a bit of a resource bank for adults to use as the more that they can do and the more the messages are reinforced, the more adults will see that these skills are ones which will help them in the future.

How can users develop their awareness of the skills through the platform?

Teamwork.  This skill applies to working within both formal and informal teams, and also with customers, clients or stakeholders.   Create a free account with Skills Builder Benchmark to get started with understanding and assessing your teamwork skills.   Create a free account with Skills Builder Launchpad to improve and build your teamwork skills.   Leadership.  This skill is relevant not only for individuals in positions of management with formal power, but also individuals working with peers in teams.   Create a free account with Skills Builder Benchmark to get started with understanding and assessing your leadership skills.   Create a free account with Skills Builder Launchpad to improve and build your leadership skills.

From the Lifepilot homepage, adults can choose whatever starting point they are at to access the site. At the top of the page there are then the popular tools including “Improve Your Skills” and this is where adults can start to look at individual skills they would like to reflect or improve on. We felt that the Skills Builder ones fitted in the “Get Skilled” section and have picked out the relevant essential skill that aligns with the skills we have on there.

If you are interested in developing the skills in your programmes, you can find out more about how we work with impact organisations on our website.

If you are interested in using the Lifepilot platform you can find it here.