Deborah Baker (Sky)

At Sky, the mindset and attitude of potential candidates matters more than academic qualifications. Academic qualifications are valued, , but there is a real drive to help people continue their learning regardless of their previous qualifications.

Deborah introduced two programmes that Sky are driving to help talent to flourish, noting that new skills are required to compete in this age.

Sky Academy

This is an overall name for five initiatives that are helping young people to flourish and pursue opportunities. By 2020, Sky want to have provided opportunities for 1,000,000 young people. An ambitious target, but they helped over 100,000 young people last year.

The programmes are:
Sky Sports Living for Sport
Sky Academy Skills Studios
Sky Academy Scholarships
Sky Academy Careers Lab
Sky Academy Starting Out

The programmes are aimed at providing inspiration and opportunities to help young people build skills and self-belief. The programme isn’t aimed at recruiting young people to work at Sky, although some will pursue that path.

The Sky Academy Careers Lab is aimed at people aged 16-19 and aims to open up Sky as a business so help young people really understand what the world of work is all about, and to dig much deeper than just job titles.

Sky Academy Starting Out is about helping young people prepare for the world of work by undertaking work placements, including making sure that young people are given the breaks they need and deserve (and might not have access to).

There are lots of initiatives and we saw video interviews with lots of young people who have realy been helped by these programmes at Sky.

We watched a video interview with Natalie (presenter on Sky Sports News), who started out by doing a work placement at Sky which eventually led to an audition and then a role as a presenter.

Sky Development

Sky are running a leadership programme about helping to drive better self, better teams, and better business. Their aim was to produce a programme that isn’t a ‘usual’ training course.

Better self includes mindfulness, Emotional Intelligence, understanding the impact we have on others, and learning from the experts at Team Sky (Cycling)

Better teams includes team effectiveness and looking at the building blocks of a high performing team

Better business pulls all the strands together along with decision making and innovation.

The programme is undergoing a pilot at the moment and will be rolled out across Sky, not just to a subset of people.

Sky are really trying to be inclusive in their leadership development, their current initiatives feel really different, and they are already seeing a significant long-lasting positive impact.