The enterprise skills are essential for future success

The Enterprise Skills

At Enabling Enterprise, we are working to ensure that one day, all students leave school equipped with the enterprise skills, experiences of the world of work and aspirations to succeed.

The enterprise skills were developed as a set of eight skills, which combined what employers were looking for and the skills that had been shown to unlock learning. Crucially they built off the foundations of empathy, resilience and confident communication.

We use the Skills Builder tool in schools to help teachers measure their students’ progress. We are currently looking for partner organisations to trial the tool in other settings, if this interests you, please contact the Skills Builder team.

Skills Builder


Listening and UnderstandingThis skill focuses particularly on the students’ ability to listen and understand information.

Initially, it is about the students being able to hear and comprehend simple instructions. As they get more skilled, the focus turns to being able to analyse the speaker in greater depth.

This includes understanding the use of tone, bias, themes and implications.

Ultimately, by the time they leave school students should be able to listen, capture key information and also to evaluate the speaker and their goals.


PresentingThis skill focuses particularly on the students’ ability to present to others as a way of sharing their ideas.

Initially, this is about being able to articulate themselves in small group situations, and then being able to order their points logically to convey meaning.

Over time, the focus is increasingly on being able to deliver interesting and engaging presentations through thoughtful use of tone, detail and language.

Strong presenters will be able to adapt their presentations to the audience’s reaction.

Ultimately, by the time they leave school students should be confident presenters, able to adapt their approach to a range of contexts and audience reactions.


Problem SolvingThis skill focuses on how students approach challenges and situations where the answer is not immediately clear.

Initially, this problem-solving can be supported and structured by an adult. Over time, the students should be able to solve problems by themselves, including seeking out additional information.

They build up to being able to identify different potential solutions for complex problems and being able to evaluate the different options to reach the optimal solution.

Ultimately, by the time they leave school students should be able to solve problems effectively by creating a range of solutions. They should also be able to assess risk and pre-empt problems that could emerge in the future.


Being CreativeThis skill is about the students’ capacity to think creatively and develop new ideas.

While there is some overlap with problem-solving, creative thinking does not presume a pre-defined problem.

Initially, it is about the students being confident in using their imaginations to create new ideas. Over time, the focus is on the students building a range of strategies that can support their creative thinking.

Ultimately, by the time they leave school students should be confident when presented with the need to create new ideas or innovations, knowing a range of strategies and tools they can use to develop their ideas.


Working in a TeamThis skill focuses on the students’ confidence and effectiveness in working as part of a team.

Initially, it is about the students being able to work with others in a constructive manner. As they progress, the focus is increasingly on not just making their own contribution but encouraging and supporting others to make their fullest contribution too.

The highest performing team members will understand their colleagues’ strengths and weaknesses and support the team to divide roles accordingly.

Ultimately, by the time they leave school students should be able to work effectively in a team and evaluate the team’s performance to drive future improvements.


LeadingThis skill focuses particularly on the students’ ability to lead others.

The underlying foundation of effective leadership is a level of empathy, which is why the initial levels focus on empathy and the ability to articulate their own emotions.

As they develop as leaders, they need to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and those who they are leading. Higher level leadership will also mean a self-awareness of their own leadership approach and how they can effectively motivate their team.

Ultimately, by the time they leave school students should be confident in taking the lead on a team task, understanding others and being able to motivate them to complete the task or project successfully.


Aiming High
This skill focuses on the students having high aspirations for themselves and being able to work towards achieving those.

Initially, the students should be developing an understanding of the importance of trying their best and taking satisfaction in their achievements. This then underpins a growing ability to set their own goals and create steps to achieve their targets.

As the students near formally leaving school, it should also include an awareness of their options for next steps and a thoughtful evaluation of the route that would be best for them.

Ultimately, by the time they leave school students should have a clear plan for their future goals, and an ability to work consistently towards achieving them.


Staying Positive
This skill focuses on the students’ resilience and ability to overcome setbacks.

Initially, the students need to build their own emotional awareness and empathy. This in turn can build resilience, where students can acknowledge setbacks and challenges but evaluate them effectively and keep progressing.

Over time, this should build into a willingness to take calculated risks and ability to overcome setbacks.

Those who perform most highly in this skill area will be able to encourage resilience and positivity in others as well as themselves.

Ultimately, by the time they leave school students should be able to face and overcome challenges positively, whilst learning from setbacks.

Measuring the Skills

The most important element of any enterprise assessment is that it is a quantifiable measure. If measures are quantifiable, we can plan for progress and target-setting in the same way that we do in other subject areas.

At Enabling Enterprise, we’ve created a set of levels for each of the skills. This framework allows for us to quantifiably state where students are working, akin to levelling for other subjects.

We use the Skills Builder tool in schools to help teachers measure their students’ progress.

Skills Builder

About Enabling Enterprise: … Our Mission Enabling Enterprise is an award-winning not-for-profit social enterprise, set up...

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