Welcome to Skillsmax

Our mission is to inspire and support moments of optimism and hope!

Skillsmax is a company with people at its heart. Our core purpose is to enhance the lives of others. Our starting premise is to invest in lifelong learning for our learners.


To inspire and support moments of optimism and hope

Skillsmax is a company with people at its heart. Our core purpose is to enhance the lives of others. Our starting premise is to invest in lifelong learning for our learners. We assume that as providers we are also on a learning journey; our CPD programme reflects this commitment to lifelong learning for all members of our team.

Our mission is both achievable on an individual level and yet it presents us with an ongoing challenge because it’s never-ending in terms of the flow of individuals who we will encounter. By its very nature, it is non-linear in terms of completion; there will always be more people to work with. Those people may experience a range of experiences along the way, including successes and setbacks. So our work is like that of a parent, never ending.

The mission operates in several connected avenues:

  • We may provide delivery teams opportunities in the form of business development or bid writing
  • Delivery teams will work towards this with participants on programs
  • Some more experienced delivery team members may work towards this mission with less experienced delivery members
  • Skillsmax works towards this by supporting other not for profit organisations or freelancers to access DWP funding as a workforce development activity

This interconnectivity is vital to our success; we must aim to reach the range of learners and to meet their extensive needs.


Encouraging a collaborative workplace helps our business leverage the resources we have. Our resources are our employees. When we collaborate effectively, we are able to be productive and stay motivated while working on team projects.

Collaboration helps us experience the benefits of working as part of a team. We each play an important role in the success of Skillsmax, while feeling supported by the other team members. We transfer these positive experiences onto our learners as we work with and support them to achieve their goals.

“It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learn to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.”

Charles Darwin

Collaboration to leverage our collective skills

  • This may be experience of learner groups, own sector knowledge, use of specific techniques, links to employers
  • It includes the wide range of skills we have as a team
  • We are open to new and innovative ways of working together to maximise our learners’ experiences.

All experience is useful

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Jake Leith

Programme Development & South West & West of England Regional Lead

My Role

The Programme Development Lead collates and analyses information from Skillsmax Tutor Teams and Jobcentres regarding gaps in market provision, and develops, delivers and reports on pilot programmes. Also includes leading on Skillsmax website development and working alongside the Quality Lead to develop suitable resources for new programmes.

The responsibilies of the Lead for South West & West of England are to ensure that the best possible, local, tutors and mentors provide the highest quality support and guidance for learners throughout the South West & West of England; to manage relationships with Jobcentres and Department of Work and Pensions Buyers ensuring that they are kept informed of learners’ successes and challenges; to ensure that programmes evolve to meet the current demands of the sector and society and to promote best practice.

About Me

Former Principal Lecturer and Leader of Business and Professional Practice in Design at University of Brighton and Loughborough University. Over 30 Years as Senior Partner, The Jake Leith Partnership; Interior Design business. Past President and Trustee of the Chartered Society of Designers and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce). I have considerable experience of working with adults with learning disabilities through Skillsmax and the Rathbone Society. My interests lie in visiting historic places of interest and classical and contemporary music.

Kate Hogwood

Quality and Learner Feedback Lead

My Role

The Quality and Learner Feedback Lead aims to maximise learners’ overall experience of individual programmes, ensuring quality and uniformity for learners and tutors and continual improvement.

About Me

An experienced tutor herself, Kate has supported learners with disabilities and mental health problems and more recently has taught ESOL students and supported them into employment. Personal interests include bird watching, photography and walking,

John Peters

Employer Engagement and Intelligence Lead

My Role


John is a long standing business person with over 30 years experience. He started out his career working in his own business as a mechanical tradesman and later moved on to establish a thriving business in international freight. He has a wealth of experience as a business manager and brings in vast knowledge in enterprise and business management. He speaks fluent German and enjoys playing football. He is married with Children.

About Me


The Employer Engagement and Intelligence Team is responsible for sourcing provisions and engaging with employers nationally . The Team support tutors to engage with Employers in the area where they work. The Employer Engagement and Intelligence Team identifies recruitment events recruitment agencies, open opportunities, jobfairs, Employers per region and pass this on to Tutors who pass this on to their learners to facilitate a positive outcome for Skillsmax programmes.