The National Skills Challenge is a real-life business challenge in association with Staffordshire University London. Delivered over the course of a full day by our engaging team, the challenge aims to develop the key employability skills required for the world of work, including teamwork, communication, and leadership.

This year’s challenge was set by Sports Interactive, the makers of Football Manager who challenged pupils to come up with a new marketing campaign to extend the appeal of Football Manager to a wider audience.

Schools and colleges across the country engaged with the challenge and the winning team from each school was poised, ready to compete at the National Skills Challenge final at Plexal Park in April.  Due to Covid-19, a virtual final was held with entries judged by representatives from The Inspirational Learning Group and Staffordshire University London.

We are thrilled to announce that “One Team One Dream” from Holmer Green Senior School in High Wycombe have been crowned the 2020 champions. The judges were taken aback by the commitment shown by the team and the links that they made to “Kick It Out”, football’s equality and inclusion organisation. Congratulations to “One Team One Dream”!


Commenting on the partnership, Rachel Gowers, Director of Staffordshire University London said, “We were really impressed with the professionalism shown by the Holmer Green Senior School winning team, they conducted some primary research and used the results to influence their campaign and create an accurate customer profile. They also had very strong campaign branding as well as some solid implementable ideas such as the refer a friend scheme with a discount which showed a real understanding of the target audience. 

It’s been a tremendous pleasure sponsoring this year’s National Skills Challenge and seeing so many fantastic pitches from all over the country and the resilience shown by all our finalists who adapted their pitches to video after the lockdown prevented us from proceeding with our original plan. Massive well-done to everyone involved”

Challenge co-founder, Michael Dyer added, “It’s been a really tough few months for all students across the country, having to adapt to life outside the classroom. The standard of entries that we have seen though, have been as good as ever and the students are a huge credit to their schools/colleges/families as it would have been very easy to just sit back and do nothing but the teams pulled out all the stops and whilst Holmer Green were worthy winners, the standard of entries was very high, with a special mention going to Rainham Mark Grammar School and Concord College“.

In these challenging times, the development of young people’s enterprise and employability skills is going to be as important as ever and The Inspirational Learning Group remains committed to supporting this agenda. Thanks to our ongoing partnership with Staffordshire University, we decided to make the challenge available online so that even more students could take part and it was well received.

Thank you to all the schools/colleges that took part and we look forward to working with you all again in the future.


The National Skills Challenge Team

Part of The inspirational Learning Group