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Upskills: Empowering New Zealand's Operational Workforce

Upskills is an award-winning training consultancy dedicated to enhancing the communication skills of individuals within New Zealand's operational workforce. We have a unique approach, combining training sessions with mentoring and coaching to facilitate positive change and unlock the full potential of both individuals and the organisations they work for.


Our tailored training programs are delivered on-site, directly in workplaces across New Zealand, by our network of experienced and dynamic tutors. We cater to a diverse range of industries with operational workforces such as manufacturing (including food & beverage), civil & construction, transport, logistics & freight, healthcare, and primary industries (including forestry). Read our client success stories.

Our Approach

We believe in training that sticks. Our focus extends beyond simply delivering knowledge; we aim to create behavioural change at both the organisational and individual levels. Whether it's fostering employee engagement, boosting workforce confidence to address challenges, or empowering individuals to bring forth innovative ideas, our training is designed to make a lasting impact.

We are also committed to training for transfer. Our programs are carefully crafted to enable participants to seamlessly apply their learnings beyond the classroom. These skills can be easily transferred to the workplace, personal relationships, and social spheres.

Tailored Solutions

At Upskills, our dedicated training consultancy staff works closely with you to develop the right solution for your business. We understand that every organisation has unique needs, so we customise our training programs accordingly. This includes clear measures to determine the effects of the training and the return on your investment.

To gain a thorough understanding of your business, we complete a communications analysis. Our team spends time observing and analysing your workplace in action, ensuring we fully grasp your specific challenges and opportunities. We also ensure the buy-in of key stakeholders to guarantee the success of the program. Importantly, our commitment extends beyond the training period, as we continue working with you to ensure ongoing returns on your training investment.

Unlock Government Funding Opportunities

As your partner, Upskills is dedicated to helping you leverage available government funding for training and drive business growth. We streamline the funding application process by overseeing the entire project from start to finish, eliminating the hassle and ensuring a smooth experience.

Pathways to Career Progression

Upskills provides a clear pathway to career progression with our tailored courses designed for aspiring leaders, supervisors, and trainers. Our comprehensive offerings include:

  • Workplace literacy and numeracy
  • Early leadership
  • Wellbeing
  • Financial literacy
  • Digital literacy

To learn more about each of our courses, please visit our website, where you'll find detailed information and insights.

Are you ready to unlock a more motivated, engaged, and loyal staff? Successful learning creates lasting and sustained change while delivering substantial returns on your initial investment. Take the first step toward growing your talent from within by requesting a free training needs analysis. Call our director, Holly Patterson, today on 09 622 3979.

We look forward to partnering with you on your journey to success.



Describe your product or service and what it delivers

We supply award-winning tailored training solutions to New Zealand organisations with an operational workforce. Training is delivered on-site in the workplace by our nationwide network of experienced dynamic tutors.  

Upskill your people in, 

  • Workplace literacy & numeracy 

  • Early leadership 

  • Wellbeing 

  • Financial literacy 

  • Digital literacy 

Learn more about our courses

What size business or organisation does your product/ service suit?

We understand the diverse needs of businesses, regardless of their size. Our courses are interactive and engaging. Learners are encouraged to participate in hands-on activities, making it an ideal experience for groups of up to 10 people. Larger numbers of front-line workers can face logistical challenges in attending training sessions, so our course size is tailored to accommodate such constraints. 

We also accommodate the needs of shift workers, creating flexible schedules to align with their availability whenever possible.  

Our hands-on approach, flexible scheduling, and specialised programs ensure that we deliver high-quality learning experiences that make an impact regardless of client size.

What kinds of organisations may be interested in your product/ service?

We have forged strong partnerships with some amazing clients. They span a diverse range of industries with an operational workforce in sectors such as manufacturing (including food & beverage), civil & construction, transport, logistics & freight, healthcare, and primary industries (including forestry). 

Explore our website to discover our client base, and read inspiring success stories highlighting the impact of our courses.  

We work best with forward-thinking clients. If you need help to foster meaningful behavioural change in your organisation, we would be excited to collaborate with you. Together, we can create an environment where staff feel more engaged, empowered, and motivated. 

How long has your product/ service been on the market?

We delivered our first workplace literacy programme in 2014. ‘Make it Happen’ was developed for Goodman Fielder, rolled out across six of its sites and was awarded 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 differently in the workplace literacy and numeracy sector. 

Partners, Sarah Balfour and Holly Patterson have since grown Upskills into an amazing team of over 29 staff and contract facilitators around the motu. We now deliver over 24 courses nationwide. 

What does your standard product cost?

Funded workplace training in Aotearoa is well supported by the government. Upskills can take the hassle out of the funding application by project managing the process. Some of the funds we work with are, 

We offer non-funded courses tailored to the client’s needs and individually priced. See the course pages on our website for details. 

We also offer a public, "Pop-up Leadership" programme. This course is for organisations needing to upskill small numbers of emerging leaders. Participants join a cohort of like-minded individuals from non-competing industries, creating a supportive environment to develop their leadership skills. We regularly run these sessions in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch, providing accessible opportunities for growth and development. Price per learner is $1,490 + GST. 

Are there annual licensing costs? How are these structured?

There are no annual licensing costs. 

Is your product an off the shelf solution, or does it require customisation?

Our Workplace Literacy and Numeracy courses require customisation to ensure we meet the goals our clients have for the programme. They are designed to boost the confidence of employees but also stimulate innovative thinking from the people on the frontline. By empowering individuals at the grassroots level, we enable them to contribute fresh and inventive ideas to address even the most challenging issues.   

We take a codesign approach to understanding the issues of low levels of literacy and numeracy in your organisation, and their impact on your bottom line.  From this point we can tailor a learning solution to solve these issues. 

How long does your product take to implement? How does customisation impact this?

The funding application and approval processes can take 4-6 weeks depending on the number of submissions at the time.  Customisation is built into the front end of the application process, so no extra time is required for this. 

What is your post-implementation support? Are there costs to this or is the up-front cost inclusive of additional support

Part of the value we provide is to leave behind a learning legacy. As such, post-implementation support is built into our process. We tend to build long-term relationships with our clients, as they often have on-going needs for workplace training. 

Would you be able to provide example customers/ organisations who would be willing to allow site-visits for potential customers to view a demonstration of the product or service in

Here are some video case studies of our work: 

Griffin’s – Skills Highway Award 2018: 

MML Consumer Products Diversity Award 2022: 

Posted on 31 January 2023