Organisational development in the VCSE sector

Skyblue has worked with over 50 VCSE organisations, charities, trusts and foundations in the UK since 2007 to support their survival and / or growth and development. These range from the Dame Kelly Holmes Trust to the Ramblers Association, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) to the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust. We work with smaller local VCSEs to helping with their business planning, visioning, bid-writing, and impact practice including these examples:

  • Boroughbridge Community Care – helping Trustees agree a future vision as a community anchor organisation and developing new skills using the Social Value Engine to communicate their impact in new and exciting ways to investors
  • Kingdom Faith Yorkshire – supporting a member of staff develop a new approach to collecting data and evidence and feeling confident to use new methods to demonstrate the hidden value of the services they provide in their community
  • North Yorkshire Youth – Skyblue supported this infrastructure organisation win the largest 3-year National Lottery Reaching Communities Fund Project in the county in 2020 through a thorough process of youth-informed research, evidence collection and the creation of a compelling business case for Youth Mentoring.

Skills and training

We have a great deal of experiencing helping identify whether a training programme has been effective or not, whether this be in terms of assessing whether the intended learning has been understood and applied by delegates or whether it has been value for money. Kirkpatrick evaluation and return on investment methodologies are just some of the tools we have applied in nearly 30 years of research in this field that has led to us publishing good practice guidance for organisations and sectors wishing to better understand the impact their investment in skills and training is having. At a more strategic level, we have delivered a number of 5-year longitudinal skills and education programmes, written sector skills strategies and devised impact frameworks in sectors as diverse as engineering, nuclear, creative and culture, sport, community development, home building and construction. At a European Level we have evaluated many ESF sector skills and standards projects, whilst in the UK we have supported strategies seeking to improve leadership, management, technical, human factors, digital and collaborative skills within industries and local workforces. Research studies of note have sought to understand what the most effective ways to learn are and how to help learners revise effectively for technical tests to encourage long-term knowledge retention.

Our reports include practical, costed action plans and recommendations for workforce development that can strengthen thousands of organisations in a given sector of focus.

Culture and behaviour change

This is an area of development following a 12 month study exploring the relationships between culture, behaviours, quality and productivity in the workplace. By completing a rapid evidence assessment, qualitative research programme with 100 behavioural insights specialists, employers and trade federations, and drawing on 500 interviews with employees in the selected sector, a short-list of high-impact solutions were identified that would more likely lead to the nurturing of positive behaviours and reduction of negative behaviours affecting business’ productivity and quality. The findings of this study has been embedded into the long-term investment and commissioning approach of the UK construction sector, but is likely to have significant transferability to other highly regulated sectors with similar industry drivers.

Impact Report puts work of the ECITB under the microscope

The Engineering Construction Industry Training Board has published its first ever impact report completed by Skyblue in 2020-21 highlighting its role to support firms with their training during the pandemic.

Download report

Aspire to STEM Evaluation

STEM Learning have published our outcomes evaluation of this STEM Programme reaching nearly 200 schools since 2018. It has contributed to improved subject leadership, enhanced teacher retention, improved quality of teaching, community engagement and has boosted STEM uptake.

Read the summary

Behaviours, Cultures and Performance in the Construction Industry

Behaviours, Cultures and Performance in the Construction Industry” represents the most thorough investigation into behaviours and cultures in the industry to date. The research completed by Skyblue is based on a systematic review of literature and supporting primary research with nearly 600 employers, employees, behaviour change experts and other stakeholders.

Read more