About Us

Training for Positive Change

Upskills is a training consultancy specialising in building the communication skills of people in the New Zealand workforce. Our unique approach combines training sessions with mentoring and coaching. This helps cement positive change and grow the potential of both individuals and businesses as a whole.

Our clients span many different industries, they usually have an operational workforce. Read our Client Stories and check our Testimonials to hear what they think. We have a nationwide network of top tutors, meaning we can deliver quality training in-house at sites up and down the country.

Our Approach

At Upskills we believe in training that sticks. We’re interested in helping create behavioural change at both an organisational and individual level. That may be by helping you to make staff feel more engaged at work. Perhaps boost the confidence of your workforce to bring forward their ideas to resolve those tricky issues.  We also believe in training for transfer. This means the learnings are designed to be taken beyond the classroom. They can be easily transferred to the workplace, family, friends and social circles.

We’ll work with you to tailor-make the right training solution for your business. This will include clear measures determining the effects of the training and your return on investment.  To get alongside and understand your business, we’ll spend time observing and analysing your workplace in action – a ‘communications analysis’.  We’ll ensure the buy-in of key stakeholders to ensure the programme’s success. Importantly, we’ll keep working with you once training ends to ensure you get ongoing returns on your training investment.

Our Values

It’s all about people

We connect and collaborate
We embrace diversity
We build relationships
with integrity

Nō te iwi, mō te iwi

Whakawhanaungatanga
Mahi tahi ia tangata
Whakawhirinaki

We unlock potential

For individuals
For teams and business
For whānau
and community

Mā mātou me koutou ka taea

Mō te tangata
Mo te roopu
Mō te whānau me hapori

We create a learning legacy

We empower lasting success
We bring training to life
We build growth
mindsets for learning

Mātauranga whakapapa

 Ako, whakaako, akoranga
Hei whakapiki hei whakamana
I tou ake mātauranga
Holly Patterson, Upskills Director
Sarah Balfour, Upskills Director
Holly Patterson and Sarah Balfour, Upskills Directors

Who We Are

Upskills started with a single client and lots of kōrero between Directors Sarah Balfour and Holly Patterson around a kitchen table in Glen Innes in October 2013.  We might not have had an office but we had a clear vision – to change lives through education and learning.  Being passionate about quality and success meant that we grew our reputation around Aotearoa’s industry quickly. We won as partner-provider with Goodman Fielder New Zealand, the 2014 Diversity Works Skills Highway Award.  This boosted our confidence to grow our mahi to other clients around Aotearoa; build a comprehensive tutor network and do things a bit differently in the workplace literacy and numeracy sector.

Whakawhanaungatanga; growth mindsets for learning; ako, and amplifying stories of success; are all part of the kaupapa at Upskills. From starting out as a duo, we have grown to an amazing team of over 29 staff and contract facilitators around the motu. We’ve worked hard to attract and retain a network of learning facilitators. Collaboration, relationships and a strong mentoring and professional development focus are at the heart of this. So you know when you engage with Upskills, from Whāngarei to Oāmaru, you’re working with facilitators who are passionate about their work and have a whole network of support behind them to achieve quality learning experiences.

From those early contracts and clients, we have stretched into other learning products that make a huge difference to individuals, whānau and the organisations they work for: leadership, wellbeing, adult education, financial and digital literacy.  The same quality elements for success apply: finding out and listening to the issue, then applying creative learning principles to co-design learning solutions to resolve that issue and deliver a learning legacy.  We pride ourselves on doing what we say we’re going to do.

Since we started Upskills, we’ve worked with around 2,000 learners and over 50 clients. We are always looking for ways to be better.  In 2018 we switched out the kitchen table for busy office space in the heart of Auckland’s Onehunga, but the vision remains the same: to transform lives through education.

Mā te kimi ka kite, mā te kite ka mōhio, mā te mōhio ka mārama
Seek and discover. Discover and know. Know and become enlightened.

Discover our journey

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