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Introducing the Essential Skills Academy

Deliver a work placement with impact with our essential skills training course
A fully-resourced training courseSupport your participants to make measurable progress in employability skills, as they take part in the course alongside their work placement.
Ten 90-minute group sessions
  • In-depth insight and coaching across all 8 essential skills
  • Individual Skills Benchmarking and personalised development goals
  • In-role activities which tie in with the work placement
  • Integrated progress tracking and impact measurement
  • Optional line manager training
Direct delivery or 'plug and play'Our expert Skills Advisors can deliver training directly to your participants, or provide you with the resources and train-the-trainer training to deliver the course and track the impact yourselves.
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Designed to support

Kickstart
Graduate Schemes
Apprenticeships
Internships
Work Experience
Employability Training
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Support your work placement participants to:

Identify their essential skills
Participants will become aware of the importance of the essential skills in the workplace, identify their strongest and most challenging skills, and set targets for development.
Demonstrate their skills
Participants will use the essential skills within their placement, recognising when and how to employ particular strategies.
Articulate how they have improved their skills
Participants will be able to use the experience as a springboard into their next employment opportunity.
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What's the structure of the course?

Workshop 1:
Introduction to the Essential Skills Academy
An introduction to the Essential Skills Academy and the 8 essential skills. Learners use the Benchmark tool to assess their essential skills profile.
Workshops 2 - 5:
Skill Workshops
Each workshop will focus on a pair of essential skills. During each workshop participants will have an opportunity to learn about each of the skills, reflect on them, demonstrate them and prepare to apply these skills in your role.
Workshops 6 - 9:
Articulate your Essential Skills
Through this series of workshops, participants develop a range of strategies to articulate how they have applied their essential skills in practice. They will explore these strategies by learning about them, applying them and reflecting on the strategies they have used.
Workshop 10:
Reflect and review your Essential Skills
During this workshop, learners will reflect and review their Essential Skills Academy Journey. They will have to share reflections, review their targets you set, revisit Skills Builder Benchmark and look ahead to the future.
Skills Builder Benchmark
The Skills Builder Benchmark will enable learners to track their essential skills development as they progress through the programme. This will allow you to measure the impact of your training, as well as provide individualised support to each graduate based on their essential skills’ strengths and challenges.
Skills Builder Workbooks
Workbooks feature practical exercises designed to help participants transfer their new skills from the classroom to the work environment. This enables participants to take ownership of their learning and helps to reinforce what they have learned during the workshop exercises.
Skills Builder Launchpad
The Skills Builder Benchmark will enable learners to identify and develop their essential skills. Learners will be able to practice their skills through interactive online and offline activities with real-life applications for employment or wider life.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is the Essential Skills Academy for?

The Essential Skills Academy is suitable for employers or organisations offering employability training or work placement programmes (such as Kickstart, an apprenticeship or an internship), who want to ensure that participants make measurable progress through their programme and leave better equipped to thrive in their role or to secure their next job.

The content is focused on the eight essential skills of the Skills Builder Framework; speaking, listening, staying positive, aiming high, problem solving, creativity, leadership and teamwork. These skills are transferrable across sectors, and so the programme is applicable for participants working within any industry.

How could the Essential Skills Academy fit with my work placement programme?

The training sessions of the Essential Skills Academy have been designed to complement all types of work experience opportunities.  

We recommend sessions are delivered on a fortnightly basis, but the programme can also be scheduled flexibly to best fit the structure of your placement.

Each training session lasts up to 90-minutes, and after each session there is the opportunity to set participants some light ‘homework’ to support them in actively practising the skills discussed within their placement. Throughout the course, there will be an opportunity for participants to reflect on how they have used their essential skills in different work activities, what strategies worked and what they might like to try next time. Participants are also supported to articulate the skills they have developed to equip them for future job interviews or appraisals.

Does this link to the Government Kickstart Scheme?

The Essential Skills Academy was designed to answer the question ‘how can individuals meaningfully develop their essential skills in the workplace?’ Kickstart is a great opportunity for individuals to gain the experience they need to move into sustained employment and the Essential Skills Academy ensures that they can identify how they have developed their skills and understand how to articulate this in a professional context.

We worked with Business in the Community, CIPD, and the CBI to consider how best to support Kickstart participants with our resulting guidance and advice published in the Employer’s Guide to Kickstart.

The Essential Skills Academy has been developed as a one-stop solution for all types of work placement, helping employers and gateway organisations to ensure that every participant leaves the scheme better equipped to succeed.

How many participants can take part in the course?

The Essential Skills Academy has been optimised for group teaching. We recommend delivering each workshop to a cohort size of between 5-20 participants with the opportunity for multiple cohorts to enlist on the course.

Who delivers the training?

The Essential Skills Academy can be delivered directly by our expert team or we can provide your team with the course resources and train-the-trainer training so you can deliver it to participants yourself.

Direct delivery: This will take place via web-conference. Full delivery and facilitation would be provided by a Skills Builder Education Associate; qualified teachers with outstanding teaching and training practice. We would work with you to create a timetable for the delivery of the 10 sessions for each cohort.

Train-the-trainer: Alternatively, you may find it more useful to purchase the Essential Skills Academy as a stand-alone resource, which your team can deliver yourselves, after an initial ‘train-the –trainer’ session from Skills Builder. This flexible and cost-efficient option will mean you can use the resources to support as many cohorts of work placement candidates as you like, following a structure that best suits your participants’ needs.

How much does the Essential Skills Academy cost?

The Essential Skills Academy starts from £4,460 with additional costs depending on the type of delivery you would prefer. Please contact us to discuss the needs of your programme.

Is there recognition for completing the course?

After completing the Essential Skills Academy, participants will receive a certificate of excellence within essential skills.

We deliver employability training. How could the Skills Builder approach fit in?

Skills Builder works with a range of organisations, including Youth Employment UK, Upskill Me and Ark (Professional Pathways), who are already doing their own amazing work to build employability skills. We support these organisations to enhance their programmes by building in the consistent language of the Skills Builder Framework in their existing programme of activities.  Alongside, we provide tools and training to support organisations to further refine their employability programmes, measure their impact, upskill their team and grow the reach of their programmes.

The Essential Skills Academy can work as an additional resource to complement the existing timetable of employability support you offer to your trainees, or we can provide tailored modules to your specifications to ensure the best fit with your existing provision.

If you already provide employability programmes, we’d love to have a conversation about how our organisations can work together towards our shared goal of boosting participants’ employability skills, so please do get in touch to discuss.

Can I speak to someone about the Essential Skills Academy?

We’d be delighted to arrange a call to talk through the Essential Skills Academy and discuss how it could support your organisation’s needs.

To set something up, please fill in our contact form or send a message to amy.baggott@skillsbuilder.org. We look forward to hearing from you.