Young people with a history of prolific offending find it extremely difficult to find employment, yet without work it is very unlikely they will be able to find an alternative to their previous lives. To address this problem, The Skill Mill provides real job opportunities; offering young people a reason to stop offending.
The Skill Mill is a social enterprise that works with young ex-offenders providing paid employment and practical on-the-job training in environmental and flood management.
The Foundation awarded a grant of £40,800 to The Skill Mill to enable the project to continue to provide work for young people with a long history of offending, undertaking waterway clearance and land management. Every employee completes a City and Guild course in Land Based Operations and all successful trainees are offered a ‘next step’ job with one of The Skill Mill’s partners.
A recent evaluation of the project by the University of Northumbria found that participation in The Skill Mill resulted in a significant reduction in the number of offences committed and, where offences were committed, they were much less serious.
“Our work suggests that The Skill Mill may provide young offenders with a turning point that allows them to change their life course and desist from crime.” 
The Skill Mill is also benefiting from the support of a Virgin Money volunteer, Bill Percy, who is supporting Charlotte - The Skill Mill's new Business Development Manager in her role.
Charlotte told us;
“Working with Bill has been very beneficial to The Skill Mill; helping us to find ways we can improve as a business and helping me to be clear in defining what I want to achieve. Having thoughts and ideas from someone who works in a completely different sector has allowed us to rethink how we can move the business forward.”
You can find out more about The Skill Mill via their website.
 Do Flood Mitigation and Natural Habitat Protection Employment Reduce Young Offending? Michael Long, Sarah Soppitt and Paul Stretesky