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Increase your organisation's impact with essential skills

The Skills Builder Universal Framework is being embedded into the work of a wide range of impact organisations - from sports, to arts, to careers.

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Explore the Framework

Get started with your free advice toolkit

This free toolkit contains the complete Universal Framework, as well as the Principles for building skills effectively.
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A Guide for Youth Organisations

This guide is to support organisations who work with young people to learn more about the Skills Builder Universal Framework, accompanying resources and how to use these to support their employability programmes.
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We have two new programmes for Impact Organisations to join the Skills Builder Partnership

The Impact Programme

Bespoke training and support for your organisation.

- Click to find out more -

Group Training Programme

A set of training sessions alongside other smaller organisations.

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Build essential skills in an inclusive way

The Skills Builder Expanded Framework provides further scaffolding to make building essential skills accessible for all learners, including those with additional needs.

This free toolkit comes with the Expanded Framework, which breaks progression down, by placing three simple Stepping Stones between Steps to give more extensive scaffolding.

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The Skills Builder Inclusive Organisations Cluster has brought together the huge expertise of a range of key partners who build essential skills in an inclusive way.  These contributions, aligned to the voices of neurodiverse and disabled people’s experiences, are the driving force for the Skills Builder Inclusive Organisations Guide.  The Guide is to support organisations to use the Skills Builder Expanded Universal Framework and contains practical support on skill development, including key considerations when working with a range of learners.
Example page from Inclusive Organisations Guide
Example page from Inclusive Organisations Guide
Download your copy

Build essential skills through sports

The Skills Builder Partnership and The Harlequins Foundation have been working together to transform how learners of all ages develop essential skills through sport. Pioneered in partnership with a group of sports experts and underpinned by the Skills Builder Framework, these resources provide practical ideas and guidance for programme delivery, workforce development and high-quality impact.

Introducing the Impact Directory

Explore reviewed programmes from our partners, and filter by Impact Level, theme, age, location, skills and more.

Building essential skills across sectors

Impact organisations of all shapes and sizes are integrating the Skills Builder approach into their everyday work.
Here are some of the sectors where our partners operate.

Arts & Culture
Careers & Employability
Curriculum Support
Employer Outreach
Outdoors & Adventure
Parents & Community
Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths
University Access
Volunteering and Social Action
Youth Provision

Introducing the Essential Skills Academy

Deliver a work placement with impact with our essential skills training course

See how other impact organisations are building essential skills

Children's University

Children's University

Children’s University works nationally across 69 local authorities reaching over 110,000 students to offer limitless learning beyond the classroom. This year they transferred their Passport to Learning online, supporting a greater understanding of the skills being developed through a diverse range of extra-curricular activities.

Learning providers select up to 3 top skills that a child will learn which can then be discussed and validated by a Children’s University manager. Children can then collect stamps across all eight skills through a multitude of clubs.

Aligning to the Framework has allowed children to reflect on their progress in the skills and identify new opportunities. Children’s University gains a national picture of participation to help share best practice and increase access to providers.

Children’s University are undertaking an exciting new phase to further integrate the Skills Builder Framework into their online platform to support learners with their self-reflection. Incorporating the language of the steps will enable children to further pinpoint their success and guide their next steps for development.

Harlequins Foundation

Harlequins Foundation

Since 2019 the Harlequins Foundation and Skills Builder Partnership have been working together to create a Sports Toolkit to transform how all young people develop the essential skills through sport.
This Toolkit is being piloted by community foundations like the Harlequins Foundation, Charlton Athletic Community Trust and Albion in the Community, in addition to sports for development organisations: Street League, Sported, London Youth's fifteen Active Talent organisations, Active Communities Network Hampshire, SportInspired, Sport Impact and the Eton Fives Association’s Westway Club.

The Harlequins Foundation believes that all young people should have the opportunity to develop relevant technical and vocational skills to support employment and entrepreneurship in the 21st century.  They deliver a range of educational opportunities that meet the needs of the local population of their borough heartlands in order to address disparities in education and employment, with a specific focus on those most vulnerable in society.

Their Development Officers and HITZ alternative provision team have integrated the eight skills into their programmes to underpin skills development and support transferability in both sports and education settings. Combining two pillars of their strategic mission, skills and wellbeing, the Harlequins Foundation identified Staying Positive as a core skill in their programmes. Using the Sports Coaching Handbooks, the team will focus on the explicit development of Staying Positive skills across their work and work alongside educators in their network to ensure young people can continue to build and apply these skills.



Spiral deliver workshops, particularly working with students from FE colleges and other post-16 institutions. These interactive workshops focus on equipping young people with the transferable skills essential for success and use activities based on real-life career challenges to support skill development and confidence in career readiness. Their work was already aligned with the Skills Builder essential skills and they develop all 8 through their programmes, with focus areas for each project in line with the Focus Tightly Principle of skill development.

The Spiral team co-design their sessions with employers, and use work-based learning to equip young people with relevant skills, enhance their work experience and populate their CV.  Using the Skills Builder framework for entry and exit-level assessment allows them to measure the impact of these programmes and to highlight young people’s strengths and areas for development.

Spiral’s programmes facilitate young people’s access to employment, apprenticeship, training, or further education opportunities. These are targeted to their interests and supported by their extensive network of opportunity partners, including the Skills Builder Partnership.

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust

National Literacy Trust are an independent charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed.

The Trust’s flagship literacy and employability programme ‘Words for Work’ is designed for Key Stage 3 and post-16 students.  It challenges the inequality in employment opportunities for young people, giving them the communication skills they need to be successful in the workplace.

Words for Work aims to:

  • Demonstrate the importance of literacy for success in employment by providing workplace context for students
  • Improve young people’s verbal and written communication skills through activities lead by teachers and through engagement with corporate volunteers
  • Give young people confidence in their own abilities and raise their career aspirations

This work has also been expanded to ensure learners are developing the essential skills in all settings, including specialist and alternative provision schools and colleges at all Key Stages.  Words for Work highlights the importance of communication in the development of skills such as Leadership and Teamwork, whilst the careers-related learning focuses on the development of Aiming High skills in younger learners.

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