Looking to go to college, university, get an apprenticeship or perhaps start your own business?

Kick start your dreams during summer by gaining the Outward Bound Skills for Life Award.

What does the Award involve?

The Skills for Life Award is an exciting 19 day adventure which takes place during the summer months at one of our residential centres of your choice.

The Award has been designed for 15-19 year olds to help build the skills and confidence needed to complete your CV, personal statement, UCAS or job application and stand out from the crowd.   

From climbing to kayaking to gorge scrambling - you’ll even take part in two multi-day expeditions, camping deep in the mountains. Whilst with us you will receive 1:1 personal coaching sessions, gain a reference from your instructor and develop your very own 12 month action plan to help you continue your progress and achieve your personal goals following the Award.   

Participants from all over the world travel to us to take part in this unique experience each year – building lifelong international friendship groups.

Course outcomes

  • Resilience & determination - The ability to bounce back from setbacks
  • Problem solving - Analysing facts and finding creative solutions
  • Self confidence and self belief
  • Self management - Accepting responsibility, flexibility, time management, improving own performance
  • Communication - Listening, questioning and articulating
  • Team working - Respect, cooperating, negotiating and persuading
  • Making the most of new opportunities - The importance of a positive attitude, openness to new ideas and the desire to achieve.


The Skills for Life Award was developed in response to feedback we received from participants, parents, university admission offices and large employers that we work with including BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Unilever. The Award provides a unique opportunity for individuals to develop key behaviours and skills that are sought after by employers and essential if you’re looking to start up your own business.

So in just 19 days you can have fun, experience a unique adventure, make lots of new friends and bag your dream job!

So the most important question is where will you spend 19 days of your summer?  Choose between beach, lakes or mountains.

Skills for Life Award 2015

Download the Kit list for this adventure.

What time does the course start and finish?
The course will start at 5.30pm on the first Monday and departure is from 9.00am on the third Friday. As part of our all-inclusive package, we offer a free coach transfer to and from central transport hubs. Please call your centre to inform them of your arrival and departure times. We can arrange drop offs at a local train or bus station, or you are welcome to be picked up by parents/guardians at the centre. You are recommended to book your transport as close to start and finish times as possible.

Is the Outward Bound Skills for Life Award for me?
The course is a truly amazing experience, designed to help you take the next step in life. It's all about building your confidence, independence and skills to support you to get ahead, regardless of your starting position.

The Skills for Life Award includes challenging multi-day expeditions, which often take place on steep terrain, plus you’ll be expected to carry your own kit throughout. It’s therefore advisable that you have a resonable level of fitness to take part. For more tips on getting fit for your adventure, see our main FAQs.

Your days will be packed, and by no means just a holiday. You should be prepared to take on new responsibilities, work with people from all around the world and be open minded to new experiences. Most important of all, you should arrive with a positive outlook and plenty of enthusiasm!

What is included in the price?
The course is all inclusive. We provide all specialist equipment including waterproofs and boots, as well as food, accommodation, insurance and a coach transfer service. You only need to bring a small amount of personal spending money, around £10-15 per week plus a £10 refundable deposit for equipment. Each centre has a small shop selling snacks, toiletries and souvenirs. The shops do not sell cigarettes or alcohol.

As a charity our mission is to unlock the potential of young people through learning and adventure in the wild. With thanks to the generosity of our donors and corporate supporters we are able to open up applications for our Skills for Life Award Scholarship on all Outward Bound Skills for Life Award courses running throughout summer 2016 and 2017.

Each Scholarship is worth up to 50% (£824) of the total course fee – but you must be quick, limited places are available.

For full terms and conditions as well as more information on how to apply visit: outwardboundcholarships.org.uk 

UK *




* With charitable subsidy for UK passport holders


Email us or call direct on 01931 740 000

Chosen course fully booked?

If your chosen course is showing as fully booked, and there are no suitable alternatives, please call us on +44 (0) 1931 740000 and we can put you on a waiting list.   We can often accommodate all those on our waiting lists.