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 of training sessions combined with mentoring and coaching helps cement positive change and grow the potential of individuals and businesses as a whole.

Our clients include food manufacturers Goodman Fielder, nationwide company Waste Management, as well as Brosnan Construction.  Our network of top tutors means 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 behaviour change at an organisational and individual level, whether that’s helping you to help your staff feel more engaged at work, or boosting the confidence of your workforce to bring forward their ideas to solutions to those tricky issues.  We also believe in training for transfer –  learnings taken beyond the ‘classroom’ to the workplace, to family, to friends and social circles.

We’ll work with you to tailor-make the right training solution for your business with clear measures determining the effects of the training and your return on investment.  To get alongside and understand your business, we’ll spend some 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.  And 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; for others, it might mean working with managers to create a clear training and career pathway for employees.  We’re creative about how we achieve sustainability and 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, to weave together a programme which ensures buy-in from people at all levels of your organisation.  Collaboration as a core value represents 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 technological tools to best support this process.  Innovation comes through being open to doing things differently, and the Upskills team uses tools of reflection, discussion, teamwork and creativity to foster this type of innovative thinking in all parts of the business.

Who We Are

Upskills Directors Holly Patterson and Sarah Balfour have a background in adult education, whether it’s facilitating leadership workshops, delivering communication training in New Zealand’s factories or teaching 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 that you can enjoy supporting your team through the process and reaping the rewards that a training investment in your people can bring.Holly Patterson Sarah Balfour

Our expertise and knowledge of workplace literacy in New Zealand is comprehensive, and we can assist employers who are looking to access this 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.