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The versatility of the Universal Framework at Amey

Amey, an infrastructure services and engineering company, with more than 10,000 employees across the UK, partnered with Skills Builder to boost employee development and increase the impact of their outreach. Amey’s participation in the Government’s post-pandemic Kickstarter work experience scheme for unemployed young people was a catalyst for getting involved. Amey needed to demonstrate that the programme was more than just something people did, but that it had measurable benefits and outcomes.

On discovering Skills Builder, Amey found the perfect fit for assessing developmental progress on the Kickstarter programme, and implemented the Universal Framework to support and assess participants. 

Inspired by the programme’s success – and the Framework’s versatility – Amey sought to leverage it for further initiatives, including the Duke of Edinburgh programme for young employees. “It seemed like the perfect fit because they are skills that can relate to absolutely anything, any job you do,” said Sarah Hale, Social Value Manager at Amey. 

Impact was tangible, as Amey observed young employees were coming away with a more developed skill set, consisting of the skills they needed. Outreach and work experience programmes were the next step for Amey, which enabled them to personalise programmes by first assessing participants’ essential skills and then using these insights to

capitalise on strengths and focus on development areas. “It wasn’t just a case of, here are the eight essential skills; it was let’s make it beneficial to you and make sure we’re actually improving your skills,” Sarah Hale explained.

The next group to be targeted was early careers, resulting in the Essential Skills Academy that reaches hundreds of apprentices and graduates, and has been awarded a Gold Excellence Mark. Participants build essential skills related to their role on a six-month essential skills module. Line manager appraisals and reviews formalise and reinforce the importance of these skills, fostering a complete approach across the business. The programme has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from staff who are seeing individuals across the business make meaningful progress. 

The Skills Builder approach is now core at Amey. In Sarah Hale’s words, “I love having people come to me, asking me questions about the Framework, hearing about it and using it. If I see people using it off their own back, it brings me a lot of joy and it makes you pretty proud.” 

Achieving their latest Excellence Mark has inspired Amey to strive for Platinum, setting their sights on integrating the Framework into their recruitment processes.