The Guinness Partnership, one of England’s largest housing associations, has given students across six schools and colleges the chance to develop life-changing skills.

The funding has enabled the Skills Builder Partnership, a global social enterprise, to work with Heritage Park School in Sheffield; Adelaide School and The Oaks Academy in Crewe; St Vincent College in Gosport;  Harrow, Richmond and Uxbridge College (HRUC) in Hillingdon and the Walnuts school in Milton Keynes, to deliver their Accelerator programmes.

As part of their social responsibility commitment to Guinness, funding for the project at Adelaide School and The Oaks Academy in Crewe and Heritage Park School in Sheffield, was also supplied by Wates, one of the leading privately-owned construction, residential development, and property services businesses in the UK.

The Accelerator programme supports schools and colleges to build their students’ essential skills alongside their academic achievements. These are highly transferable skills such as creativity, problem solving, and teamwork.

Teachers also benefit from training and resources, and the programme supports schools and colleges to train an in-house expert (a Skills Leader) who can continue the strategy once the programme ends.

Research released by the Skills Builder Partnership, the Essential Skills Tracker 2023, shows:

  • People with strong essential skills earn an average £3,600-£4,600 more a year.
  • About 18 per cent of the working population has above average education level yet poor life outcomes because of their lack of access to skills building opportunities.
  • Strong essential skills are highly related to high job and life satisfaction.
  • Ninety-two per cent of people believe essential skills are important for success within their careers.
  • Essential skills are strongly linked with increased wellbeing.
  • Building these skills means you’re 52 per cent less likely to be out of work or education.

Alistair Smyth, The Guinness Partnership’s Director of Social Investment, said:

“At The Guinness Partnership we believe in investing in our communities, and with around 14,000 homes across these areas, this is a priority for us.

“The Accelerator programme will create valuable opportunities for young people to raise their potential, and help them create the foundations for successful and fulfilling lives. We’re pleased to be able to support this important programme.”

Evelyn Haywood, Director of Education at Skills Builder Partnership, added:

“The Skills Builder Accelerator makes a measurable difference to the rate at which students build essential skills, 2.7 times more progress against their peers. We are grateful to those who subsidise and support schools to provide life changing opportunities for their students to build essential skills.”

Stewart Reid, Regional Managing Director, Wates said:

“Creating opportunities for local people in the communities in which we work is at the heart of our business. Our teams have worked very closely with colleagues from Guinness for many years and this partnership with Accelerator programme is the latest example of our hugely successful partnership in improving resident’s lives.”

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