Training for Positive Change

Our valuesUpskills 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 include food manufacturers Goodman Fielder, Waste Management, as well as Brosnan Construction. We have a network of top tutors, meaning we can deliver quality training 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


Our valuesWe’re passionate about leaving behind a meaningful change, above and beyond actual training delivery.  This means we’ll work with your organisation to figure out what you need to continue and build on any new learning or behaviours.  For some clients, this means leaving behind training materials and resources for ongoing in-house delivery. With other clients, we might work with managers to create a clear training and career pathway for employees.  We’re creative about how we achieve sustainability. Whatever your needs might be, we can assist to ensure your training investment is a lasting one.


With clients, our own team, our learners or other stakeholders, collaboration is at the forefront of our business process.  We listen to what you need, and what your learners need. This allows us to weave together a programme which ensures buy-in from people at all levels of your organisation.  Collaboration as a core value means working together to find the best way forward.



We bring the right mix of innovation to deliver the best of face-to-face, dynamic training along with the technology to best support this process.  Innovation comes through being open to doing things differently. The Upskills team uses reflection, discussion, teamwork and creativity to foster innovative thinking in all parts of the business.

Who We Are

Upskills Directors, Holly Patterson and Sarah Balfour, both have a background in adult education. They’ve facilitated leadership workshops, delivered communication training in New Zealand’s factories and taught English in Europe and Asia. Upskills came about from this expertise, experience and a desire to deliver high calibre training in the workplace.  We’ll project manage every aspect of a training project on behalf of an employer. So you can enjoy supporting your team through the process. Enjoy the journey and reap the rewards that an investment in training your people can bring.Holly Patterson Sarah Balfour

Our expertise and knowledge of workplace literacy in New Zealand are comprehensive. We can assist employers who are looking to access government funding with all aspects of the project. We’re large enough to be nationwide, yet flexible enough to tailor a programme specifically to your company.

> More about Our Team

Find out more about the team