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The Skills Builder 15 Year anniversary logo. Featuring the Skills Builder roundel placed within the bowl of the letter 5.

Over the last fifteen years, the case for building essential skills has moved from intuitive to robust: our research has shown that higher levels of essential skills boost earnings, job and life satisfaction, and halve the likelihood of being out of work or training. 

We have shown that individuals can boost their essential skills through the clear route map and rigorous teaching and practice offered by the Skills Builder Universal Framework. This year, we see 2.7 times more progress by our participants against their peers.

Front cover of the Impact Report 2023

The Impact of the Partnership

Over the last year, 900 partners have delivered 2,635,000 individual opportunities to boost essential skills across 20 countries.

In education

87% of secondary schools and colleges in England have a touchpoint with Skills Builder and the essential skills

With 577 schools and colleges delivering Skills Builder programmes

Making up 240,991 students reached on these active programmes

Where the 18,991 teachers have been trained and supported

And 720 Skills Builder Awards held in education settings

“In schools, each subject should support students to identify the essential skills they develop and to identify pathways to future careers[…]The Skills Builder Universal Framework shows how to build essential skills into the school or college curriculum.”

Statutory careers guidance in England

Transforming progress

A horizontal bar graph comparing the progression rates of students within three categories of school. Schools without a Skills Builder programme have a progression rate of 0.57. Schools using our digital resources have a progression rate of 1.38. and Schools on the Accelerator programme have a progression rate of 1.52.

Schools and colleges achieve impact through our Accelerator programme, building best-practice principles deeply into education – enabling all learners to benefit from world class essential skills teaching and progression. Skills Leaders lead this approach in their institution, so that all teachers are trained and confident, and work with senior leaders to make the policy changes required.

94% of Skills Leaders observe progress in the first term

95% of Skills Leaders report increased confidence to deliver change in school after training

“The impact on the children was immediate, with high levels of engagement and a clear link with developing communication and confidence”

Sophie Gavalda, Headteacher,
William Tyndale Primary School, Gold Award holder

Explore our education programmes

In impact organisations

222 Impact organisation partners in 2022-23

2,393,000 Opportunities delivered on Level 2+ programmes in 2022-23

199 Approved programmes in 2022-23

A staggering 2,393,000 opportunities to boost essential skills were delivered by 222 Impact Organisation partners in 2022-23, through 199 approved programmes.

We need lots of organisations working together, aligning their efforts to boost essential skills. All partners bring unique expertise and reach to deliver life-changing opportunities for millions to build essential skills every year through employability, sports, the arts, volunteering, parental engagement, inclusion and retraining. 

These impact partners get incredible value from being part of the Partnership. Through the Impact Programme and Impact Academy, partners work with us to get the best out of the Skills Builder approach in programme design, impact measurement, and staff training. Successful programmes are accredited and approved with Impact Levels, giving them access to our wider education and employer network through the Impact Directory, while celebrating their achievements. 

95% would recommend Skills Builder to their peers.

“We want our outcomes and our programme’s rigour to be as strong as possible”

Elisabeth Paulson, CEO,

Envision, Impact Level 4 and Gold Excellence Mark holder

Boost your impact on a programme
Our partners

In employers

101 employer partners

53 working towards Excellence Standards

42 offering high quality volunteering

88,806 individuals building essential skills through employer partners

34 supporting collective impact

88,806 individuals have built essential skills through 101 employer partners, 53 of those are working towards best practice as demonstrated through our Excellence Standards. 

42 employers are offering high-quality volunteering, and 34 are supporting collective impact.

The Skills Builder approach helps employers close the skills gap by making recruitment more inclusive and better able to identify essential skills. In staff development, it drives engagement and gives employees the skills to succeed in their roles – and continue to grow.

Hundreds of employers are also supporting children and young people to consciously develop and practise their essential skills in employment settings, opening up opportunities for both young people and employers. 

Employers using the Skills Builder approach have seen:

  • 23% improvement in recruiting for the right skills
  • 75% of employees more engaged in their work

Our research shows that essential skills also drive job satisfaction, morale, wage premiums and employee engagement.

  • 96% average satisfaction score from our employer partners
  • 87% of partners would recommend their peers to join the Skills Builder Employer Programme
  • 91% satisfaction with Skills Builder training

“[The Universal Framework] seemed like the perfect fit because they are skills that can relate to absolutely anything, any job you do,”

Sarah Hale, Social Value Manager

Amey, Gold Excellence Mark holder.

Build the essential skills you need on an Employer Programme
Our partners


Beyond our partners in employment, education and impact-led organisations, our products and platforms enable everyone to build essential skills: Skills Builder Benchmark, Skills Builder Launchpad, Skills Builder Hub, and Homezone.

Screenshot of the Skills Builder Benchmark
Skills Builder Benchmark is a tool to support individual self-reflection on their essential skills.
Screenshot of the Skills Builder Launchpad
Skills Builder Launchpad supports individuals to build their own essential skills.
Screenshot of the Skills Builder Hub
Skills Builder Hub lets schools and colleges to build their essential skills wherever they are.
Screenshot of the Skills Builder Homezone
Skills Builder Homezone provides activities that children can complete with their parents and carers.

The power of collective impact

Over the last fifteen years, we have seen the power of working together to transform essential skills: it is far beyond the scope of any single organisation to effect such change. We are grateful to our supporting organisations for making this work possible:

  • Funding Accelerator and Global Accelerator programmes for our state school and college partners, to make the programme accessible to everyone
  • Investing to scale up our Impact Programme and Impact Academy, reaching many impact organisations who would otherwise be unable to access this support
  • Collaborating on research that builds the case for essential skills, and how to build them effectively

Over the years, many of the innovations which are now core to our programmes and approach have been made possible by the generous support of partners – including products like Hub, Benchmark, Launchpad, and Homezone.

We are also grateful to the support of partners who make our international pro bono work possible.

An image displaying our Collective Impact Partners. Organisations in this list include: The Adecco Group, Allen & Overy, Argent, Baker McKenzie, Birmingham Airport, BP, CIPD, Coast to Capital, East Sussex Careers Hub, Edge Foundation, Ednovators, Four acre trust, Gatsby, Heathrow Airport, hepp-SY, Higgins Partnerships, HS2, KPMG, LGT Wealth Management, Linklater’s, Lloyds Bank, London Stock Exchange Group, Network Rail, Oliver Bonas, Places for People, the Rural Payments Agency, Savannah Wisdom, Sir James Knott Trust, The Guinness Partnership, UBS, Wates, and Wembley Park.

The road to 10 million opportunities

As a way marker to achieving that mission, we set ourselves the ambitious goal of delivering 10 million opportunities to boost essential skills by 2025. Those individuals would be reached through high quality, structured programmes which were approved as delivering against the Skills Builder Universal Framework. To put that in context, the first decade of our work delivered 490,000 opportunities cumulatively – so we need to deliver twenty times the impact in less than half the time. To achieve this, our strategy through to 2025 focuses on five priorities:

Grow the Partnership: We will continue to grow the number of aligned partners in each of our partner groups: education, impact organisations, and employers

Provide high quality platforms and content: We want to continuously upgrade our core products of Hub, Benchmark and Launchpad so they drive essential skills development at scale

Align infrastructure organisations: We will strengthen relationships with those organisations who set the rules and norms for others to help make the Skills Builder approach the standard

Influence national policy: We will engage with national government where we have learning to share and where we see scope to create more high quality opportunities to boost essential skills

Build global networks: We have learnt a huge amount from our global partners and will continue to make the Partnership more global, sharing resources and materials in different languages and being part of the international skills conversation.

Download the Impact Report to learn more about our work