Value my skills

Areas of expertise


Europe faces the prospect of an ageing and shrinking workforce. This, alongside digital disruption and the related job losses, creates a gap between the skills people have and those in demand. This is known as the skills gap.

The TUC stays on top of these trends and works to provide innovative solutions and resources that help workers adapt. One such initiative was the Rainbow Years Project, in which TUC unionlearn took a proactive approach to enable 50+ workers to identify and assess their transferable skills. Saffron was brought on board the initiative to develop an online assessment tool based on a digital card game.

The challenge

TUC needed to turn an existing physical card game, ‘Value my skills’, into a scalable, digital solution. The tool would need to be clear enough for a remote learner to use alone yet flexible enough for unionlearn representatives to use in face to face sessions.

Saffron were invited to turn a deck of 56 cards into an intuitive and simple selfassessment that would keep learners engaged and thinking deeply about their skills. The result would need to be slick and modern, while also having an accessible UX that anyone could navigate no matter their level of digital literacy.

The tool would also need to be translated, and tone of voice had to be appropriate to support both a British and European audience.

Why Saffron?

Unionlearn chose Saffron because they felt we immediately understood their core aims and visualised ways to take the project even further than required. We added value from the first meeting by listening to their needs and providing thoughtful visualisations for what the tool could be, exceeding their expectations.

Our approach

The mobile-first design was created with the card deck in mind, nodding to the original layout and grounding the tool in a familiar experience.

To help users feel comfortable with the tool we created Anya, their virtual mentor. She accompanies learners from start to finish without interfering with the work of a unionlearn rep. She provides helpful pointers and picks up when users start consistently repeating the same ratings. This might be from a lack of confidence, overconfidence or simply slipping into autopilot, but Anya encourages users to stop and reflect a little deeper.

The experience closes with a reflection element where users can contemplate what they’ve accomplished as a result of the experience. They are encouraged to return to the assessment and build a new action plan, entering into a virtuous cycle of reflection and change.

Saffron linked the entire diagnostic to unionlearn’s Learning Record Store as well as their LMS, allowing them to capture more useful data and track how the tool is being used. This was a first for unionlearn.

Users can ‘flip’ a card to jot down their thoughts and ‘pin’ skills to their Pinboard for future use. At the end of the assessment, users get an immediate visual overview of their capabilities by competency level and across four categories: people, data, ideas and things. They can then build on their reflection by creating a SMART action plan, using their pinned skills and notes for support. They can come back any time to tick these off and feel a sense of accomplishment.


Saffron is proud to have supported the Rainbow Years Project, which aims to make work more sustainable and extend working lives to avoid old-age poverty. We have since translated the tool into nine languages.

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