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.