Turning insight, evidence and ideas into action

Skills, Employment, Training and Careers

Skyblue’s consultancy team has 24 years direct experience of designing, evaluating, shaping and managing programmes designed to help individuals improve their labour market situation.  Authors of the first ‘sectoral workforce development plans’ when guidance was first issued by the Cabinet Office back in the 1990s, the team has since delivered over 1,000 projects in the UK and Europe in over 20 discrete industrial business sectors. These have enabled clients in those sectors to better support their existing workforce and engage their future workforce.

We understand, and believe firmly that skills are a huge driver of economic and social growth. Responsibility for skills however is never clear cut. Investment models aimed at increasing the skills base across state, industry and individuals achieve mixed success. Attempts to link training provision to meet industry’s changing needs have different levels of impact, and most recent reforms in education and careers, information, advice and guidance suggest there is so much more needs to be done in order to help young people and adult career seekers make more informed choices.

This is the backbone of our business. Whilst we have a strong heritage in this area of policy, research, evaluation, sector skills and consultancy specialism we know that further reform is inevitable and that we need to continually invest proactive effort in planning different scenarios impacting our clients and the labour market in future as a result of policy changes. Funding models for skills are radically shifting; the employer ownership agenda is increasing in force; approaches to learning are moving away from ‘chalk and talk’ to more blended experiences to meet learner needs; and the fight for talent as we come out of recession is truly on. We would like to work with you to ensure your skills, employment, training and careers strategies and plans are as successful as they can be. We will ensure their impact is well communicated and help you identify quality improvements throughout their formulation and delivery so that the things that really work have the best chance of being sustained; and the things that don’t work so well are recognised in sufficient time to mitigate wasted effort.



  • European Social Fund and Leonardo skills programmes and themes (various sectors including financial services, sport and active leisure, hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism)



  • Research and evaluation experience having been on a variety of Frameworks including LSC (Sector Skills Pilots); DWP (unemployed and worklessness focus)
  • BIS and Skills Funding Agency investment evaluations e.g. the impact of the National Skills Academy Network (published work: ‘Creating Better Futures’)
  • We are completing over £50m of independent evaluation of sector skills programmes across sectors as diverse as biology (life science), advanced manufacturing, playwork, adult social care, low carbon and energy efficiency, construction, creative and culture, and nuclear